NISG Senate rejects Chief of Staff nominee


NISG/Courtesy Photo

Chief of Staff nominee Caleb Gipple was rejected by a vote of 8-10-2.

JACOB MADDEN, News Editor | [email protected]

This past Wednesday, the Northern Iowa Student Government (NISG) then-transitional senate held its meeting to confirm President Drew Stensland and Vice President Kristen Ahart’s upper cabinet nominees.

The meeting began by swearing in Stensland, a junior political science and public administration double major, as president and Ahart, a junior English teaching and TESOL double major, as vice president. The meeting also saw Jacob Levang, a junior finance major, be sworn in as speaker of the senate.

The NISG upper cabinet is comprised of five positions, according to the NISG Constitution: the Director of Diversity (DOD), the Director of Finance (DOF), the Director of Governmental Relations (DOGR), the Director of Public Relations (DOPR) and the Chief of Staff.

Yakira Sanders, a junior social work major, was confirmed by the Senate to serve as the DOD. Jacob Stites, a junior economics major, was confirmed as DOF, Matt Johnson, a senior public administration major, was confirmed as DOGR and David Konfrst, a junior management major, was confirmed as DOPR.

The Chief of Staff nominee, Caleb Gipple, a freshman deciding major, was not confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 8-10-2. Among the concerns raised by those in attendance included Gipple’s experience and his membership in the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.

“It would be an understatement to say that this wasn’t the result I had been hoping for Wednesday night,” Gipple said. “I spent a lot of time preparing myself for thought-provoking, challenging questions for this position.”

Gipple also said that he intends to continue involvement in NISG in any capacity available to him.

“Although I was not able to obtain the necessary votes for a confirmation, I do not feel defeated by this,” Gipple said. “This has helped me see perspectives in another light and has helped me gain a better understanding of what other Senators have brought up. My view on whether or not the decision was fair is completely irrelevant because the Senate did not feel I was the best fit for the position. The Constitution and By-Laws ensure a fair process through its checks and balances system. I did not do as well as I had hoped when explaining myself and my ideas, so I do not hold anything against the Senate for voting no.”

“While we were optimistic about our nominees headed into Wednesday night, we still view all of the confirmations of the Executive Branch as a success for the student body, despite the rejection of our nominee for the Chief of Staff position,” Stensland and Ahart said in a statement. “Tough decisions had to be made over eight hours of deliberations on our applicants, but Kristen and I selected the applicants that we knew would excel on multiple fronts in their respected positions.

“However, we recognize the Senate’s position to make the final decision as our Constitution and By-Laws have these measures put into place to create a government that has the correct checks and balances in it,” Stensland and Ahart continued.

Gipple was also elected to the Senate for this coming year, where he will serve until April 15 of 2019.

After the confirmation hearings, the new Senate was sworn in, and the 2017-18 Senate completed the final meeting of their term.

The application for Chief of Staff will now be open until Thursday, April 26, at 5 p.m., and all students interested in the position are encouraged to apply. The form can be found on the NISG website or on NISG’s Facebook page.