USG president Alyssa Taylor officially filled all six executive board positions as the first executive order of her tenure. She is replacing four of the original six named on her ticket, with two of the replacements coming from the camps of her former election opponents.
“A few people did not want to continue on,” admitted Taylor, sitting in her new office overlooking Amersfort Place. “Things change.”
Taylor originally came in second in last semester’s presidential election. When the winner, Carlos Calzadilla-Palacio, was disqualified from the race for making racially-charged comments about his then-opponent Hamza Khilji, Taylor became president.
“I had no interest in being a part of that, that’s the part of politics I always hated,” said Taylor, referring the the “drama” that inevitably landed her in office.
Five of the six executive board positions which have either been renamed or consolidated from others with CLAS’ transition to USG. During her campaign for president, Taylor named appointments to these six positions, but since she came into office, four of them have chosen to not fill their positions for various reasons, forcing the new USG executive to change her selections.
Tatiana Lee replaces David Koyen as secretary, a position new to the USG body. Olivier Milord replaces Nigora Jurabaeva as club director, a position which replaces the student affairs committee under CLAS.
“They [Lee and Milord] were very instrumental in the function of USG before it was USG, and in the early stages before I had to replace positions […] I didn’t even think twice about those two,” said Taylor.
The other two selections to the USG executive branch come as interesting additions to the fold. Zain Qureshi and Nailah Pressley were both vice presidential candidates on the slates of Taylor’s opponents, Khilji and Calzadilla-Palacio respectively.
“Of course Alyssa and I have always been friends, but considering the tensions of the campaign, I didn’t expect her to recruit me after her victory,” said Qureshi, a former CLAS assembly member. He will be taking over as student advocate under Taylor, a position which replaces the old outreach committee.
“I will serve to make sure that their voice is strong,” said Qureshi.
Taylor stressed that she had relationships with both Qureshi and Pressley prior to the election this past spring. She’d previously worked with Qureshi on the CLAS assembly, and has participated in clubs and gone on a trip to Israel with Pressley. Adding them to the ticket, Taylor claims, was just filling those vacancies with the best possible people that will do the job.
“I wanted to bring on people I know are qualified,” she said.
The decision plays into Taylor’s desire to unify the tickets after a turbulent and controversial election cycle which left Khilji off the ticket entirely, and the aforementioned disqualification of Calzadilla-Palacio’s victory.
“It’s no secret what happened with the election last semester,” said Pressley, an active member of the campus community. “Coming into Fall 2019…I didn’t think I would be where I am right now. It’s honestly a blessing,” she said.
Going forward for the remainder of the semester, Taylor hopes to come through on some of her goals in her new office as first USG President, hoping to improve on old events such as the newly named “Fall Fest,” as well as “Finals and Chill.”
And yes: she is hoping to bring back the puppies.