Courtney Russell is the new ASNMU president because former president Lucia Lopez has graduated and officially resigned after months of speculation that she would. In her resignation letter, Lopez stated that lack of payment was the main reason behind relinquishing her position.
According to the ASNMU constitution, if the president resigns, the position shall go directly to the vice president. Because Russell had already been sworn in as vice president, she did not need to be sworn in again as president.
ASNMU has yet to appoint a vice president to take Russell’s place. Russell said that she wants the vice president candidate to have knowledge of how the university works and be available for students, among other things.
Despite her choice of on-campus representative Kyle Brock for vice president not passing, Russell said that one of the main issues she plans on tackling is the recognition of ASNMU among students.
“We’ve always kind of had a hard time within ASNMU about getting out to the people and talking to them,” Russell said. “That’s something I’m really going to strive for.”
Finding more representatives is also something that Russell plans to work on. According to Russell there are around nine vacancies she would like to see filled. While more people are needed, Russell is happy with those she has now.
“I think that we have a pretty good assembly, and everyone who’s on it seems to be on it for the right reasons,” Russell said. “That’s one of the things that I really try to look for when appointing people to different colleges and schools.”
Russell will also continue the work done by Lopez last semester, like the 24-hour study lounge.
“I think it’s important that we have a place that students can go to be able to study,” Russell said. “I don’t feel it’s a waste of money, and it’s something that we will continue.”
Dining services is also an area that Russell would like to explore, as she would like more students to be involved with the decisions dining services makes.
“I know there’s been, for lack of a better word, hurt feelings from students on dining service areas,” Russell said. “As far as I’m aware there is no dining services committee, and that’s something I plan on working on.”
ASNMU adviser Larry Pagel said that he thinks Russell has done a good job as vice president and will continue to do so as president.
“I think she has good ideas and presents herself well,” Pagel said.
Although Russell was not able to appoint the vice president she wanted, Pagel doesn’t think the lack of vice president will be detrimental to ASNMU.
“It probably isn’t that critical that somebody be appointed, although I would hope that all those appointments on both sides are made since students need to be represented,” Pagel said. “That’s the purpose of ASNMU.”
As a whole, Pagel hopes to see ASNMU pick out some of the more important projects and move forward with them.