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Interim Student Senate Vice President elected after resignation

Following the resignation of Subhaj Sapkota, Sikander Mateen is voted as interim vice president until new elections are held on Thursday, the 19th.

Junior Subhaj Sapkota, former vice president of the Student Senate, wrote a resignation letter on September 23, 2023. When asked about his resignation, Sapkota said he needed to leave because he felt the need to prioritize his personal well-being and mental health.

“I feel like I need to focus more on myself because if I am not fine enough I won’t be able to represent the student body. I talked to an advisor about it and decided to leave because of my sole decision and personal reasons,” said Sapkota.

The student senate executives met a week before the general assembly of October 5th and decided that, at that meeting, a new person would be appointed as the vice president. 

There were two candidates for the position on October 5th: sophomore Sikander Mateen and senior Abigail King. One hour before the Student Senate’s general assembly, both candidates delivered their speeches to the senate executives and the majority of the members voted for Mateen. 

During the general assembly, two motions took place regarding Mateen assuming vice presidency, but both votes failed. A motion was then held for King to assume the position, but the voting also failed. 

A suggestion was made for both candidates to become vice president for two weeks and divide responsibilities, but Mateen did not accept it. Another suggestion offered that one of the candidates became an interim vice president until the next general assembly, when voting would happen again. This suggestion was accepted and Mateen was voted for the temporary position.

Mateen has been on the student senate since his first-year, assuming the position of Dining Services Chair from Winter to Spring ’22 until he was elected as Campus Life Chair in Spring ’23. Mateen says that the reason he wanted the position is because he is passionate about the senate and enjoys the student-run aspect of it. 

“The reason I want to become vice president is that I started the senate as a very long-term thing I wanted to do at Knox. I’ve always liked the student-run aspect of it and have always been attracted to it. I am very passionate about it and want to do it for the next two years of my college life,” said Mateen. 

As vice president, Mateen wants to ensure active engagement from the students and senators by socializing with them.

“As a Senate vice-president, the biggest role is making sure that you are engaged, not only with people but with your senators as well. If I have, let’s say, five from each class, I should be able to know all five of their names and what their hobbies are. If I go talking to them [the senators] they can tell me their ideas,” said Mateen.

King joined the student senate in her sophomore year and was elected in Spring 2023 as Health and Wellness chair. King said she ran for vice president in order to fix past issues related to Senate by-laws.

“Effectively, I am running to find the best way to restructure the Senate and to fix our main documents. (…) We had a bunch of issues with bylaws in the past, like, having to suspend them. (…) With Vice President stuff, the biggest issue is bylaws and fixing the bylaws. I have experience with that, so I know how things work,” said King.

The elections for the new vice president are going to happen at the next Student Senate General Assembly, on Thursday, the 19th. New updates concerning the elections will be posted past that date. 

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About the Contributor
Julia Maron, Staff Writer
Julia Maron, class of 2026, is a creative writing major. She joined TKS as a freshman and continues in this position until today.
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