Dante Bucci confirmed as new speaker of the Undergraduate Senate
Bucci will replace Gabriel Unruh at the conclusion of his term
Dante Bucci, from the class of 2018, was confirmed on April 17 as the Undergraduate Senate’s next Speaker for the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year.
Bucci, who is currently a senator for the class of 2018 and Chairman of the Campus Life committee, ran against Jon Shapiro, former senator for the class of 2017 and current historian of the senate and vice chair of the Judicial Board. Ultimately, Bucci received 11 votes, Shapiro received one and one voter abstained.
During this election process, each candidate had the opportunity to give a speech and answer questions from other senate members. Following the presentations, other senate members had a period of debate before voting on the new elect.
Both candidates largely touched on advocacy in their speeches and what role they believe the speaker should have regarding advocacy projects.
Throughout his presentation, Bucci focused on his past experience implementing campus-wide advocacy projects, and on aiding future senate members with their own advocacy projects.
“While someone can learn parliamentary procedure, it takes experience to learn how to be an advocate. At my core I’ve always been an advocate. That’s why I joined senate in the first place, and that’s why I’m still here,” Bucci said. “I want to amplify the work of the Undergraduate Senate so the campus can hear. Let me connect all of you with the proper channels so your thoughts can turn into actions.”
Shapiro also focused on advocacy, discussing specific initiatives he would take, such as creating a testimony system which would incorporate more voices from people on campus who are directly involved in potential advocacy projects. In addition, he would recruit more students to senate to build a larger advocacy base.
“The speaker is not an advocate in his or her own right, but enables all of the members of the senate to have a platform to have the best possible impact,” Shapiro said. “I really want to stress how much that is my goal and how I’m going to work towards helping you and anybody else that joins the senate to have the best possible advocacy.”
Current Speaker Gabriel Unruh expressed his approval of Bucci and said he is confident in Bucci’s ability to effectively lead the Senate based on his experience working with him.
“I’m very happy that Dante was elected Speaker,” Unruh said. “We go way back to the very beginning and you know, it’s always bittersweet leaving something that you’ve been a part of for a long time, but knowing that Dante is taking over makes the transition a little better.”