The Undergraduate Student Government senators discussed how to fill vacant USG staff positions during Tuesday’s Senate meeting.The main vacancy under discussion was for the director of academic affairs in the advocacy branch. The previous director of academic affairs, Sarah Dhanaphatana, resigned after accepting a full time internship. USG Vice President Austin Dunn nominated current Assistant Director of Philanthropy Fund Maariyah Patel for the position. He asked that the Senate vote confirm the nomination immediately, instead of voting on the issue at the next meeting, as is customary. When pressed by Sen. Sabrina Enriquez to explain the need for urgency, Dunn said that the position of director of academic affairs was one of the five most important positions in the advocacy branch. Failing to expedite the vote, Dunn said, would cause the process to take up to three weeks, impeding the initiatives that the advocacy branch intends to take on this semester.Though Patel’s appointment would leave her current position in the funding branch vacant, that and other vacancies would be filled through an application set to be released at a later time. Those appointments will be made with greater transparency than last semester, in which then-Assistant Director of Elections and Recruitment Keith Keer filed a complaint about alleged cronyism in the hiring process. When asked if he and USG President Edwin Saucedo had considered other candidates before deciding to nominate Patel, Dunn said that only Patel and another assistant director had expressed interest in the position and stressed that Patel’s advocacy experience qualified her for the position.“We were only considering people internally,” Dunn said. “This decision was made because we were fairly confident that, given [Patel’s] advocacy experience … [which] exceeds that of any other member of the advocacy branch currently, it was going to be a pretty easy decision.”Patel began working in USG her freshman year, and previously served as the assistant director of academic affairs, as well as co-director of University Affairs alongside Dunn. When Sen. Kate Oh asked Patel why she wanted to move to the advocacy branch from her current position, Patel spoke about her years of experience in academic affairs. “I was in charge of academic policy and I was the one to pass the drop resolution that allowed students to not receive a ‘W’ until the seventh week, as well as change ‘Letter Grade’ to ‘Pass/Fail,’ so I have plenty of experience with administrations that are still in place and that I still have contact with,” Patel said. The motion for an immediate confirmation of Patel’s hire failed to reach the two-thirds threshold to pass, with five senators for and five against. The confirmation vote is scheduled to take place at the next Senate meeting.During the questioning process, Patel expressed surprise at the amount of scrutiny given to her hire by the senators. Oh later said that though the typical procedure is to immediately confirm the appointments, senators were more hesitant to make a decision with Patel’s appointment given the accusations of cronyism against the funding board hires made at the end of last semester.“Due to the experience we had as Senate last semester, I feel like we’re being far more cautious about our decisions,” Oh said. “It’s just us being more cautious and making sure that these appointments are the right appointments.”Last semester, after the Senate had already confirmed the funding branch appointments made by Saucedo, it was brought to Oh’s and Enriquez’s attention that the funding board appointees were predominantly male, Oh said. Following those concerns, they looked more closely at the applications and began to suspect bias in the hiring process.“It was because we were rushed into voting to suspend [parliamentary procedure], and with that, we appointed people to their positions without knowing much about the individuals who were appointed to the position, or why they were appointed for those positions, or why they were qualified to lead in those positions,” Oh said. In response to these concerns, the Senators voted to reverse their decision to confirm the appointments. However, their subsequent attempt to appeal the confirmation failed, so the funding board hires remained unaffected.Oh said USG should look to increase transparency in its hiring process in order to avoid similar allegations in the future.“I think that’s a job for not only Senate, but the president and VP. Greater transparency in the organization is never a bad thing,” Oh said. “I think there has to be communication and trust within each department, so that we can all function smoothly and effectively.”
Facebook0Tweet0Pin0Do you have a runny nose, a stuffy head, or a digestive tract that doesn’t move? I suggest you try some spice!When I traveled through India several years ago, I got a huge dose of spice with every meal that our cook prepared for us. It was quite intense at first, and as my taste buds began to adapt, I opened up to the world of spicy food. I made a lot of other health mistakes in India, like living off of Cadbury chocolate and pizza (this was long before I put some important habits in place), but the spicy food remained a steady ally on my trip.Spice assists the body in many ways. When your face turns a little red, and you sweat, you cleanse toxins through the skin. When your nose runs, you are clearing out your sinuses. Spicy food may also urge you to the bathroom. Do be sure to go slowly as you bring more spice into meals. Some body types don’t tolerate a lot of hot, so it’s important that you pay attention to the reactions that you have and go slow.If you’re interested in bringing even more spiciness into your meals, I suggest spending some time in a local spice shop. Mingle through the aisles, peak into the containers, taste the salt from around the world, and notice the subtle differences in dried chili.Spicy Rice Noodle SoupIngredients for a single serving:1 and a 1/2 cups of water½ cup of thin rice noodles1 teaspoon miso paste or a 1/2 cube of vegetable bouillon1 teaspoon of red chili sauce (I like the Sambal variety)Chopped green onion4-5 Mushrooms, can be slicedTamari or soy sauceBring the water to a boil on the stovetop. Add rice noodles to the water and cook until limp. Toss in the mushrooms at the same time as the noodles. After the noodles have cooked, turn down the heat and add the vegetable bouillon or miso paste. A dash of soy sauce can also be great for the flavor. Turn off the heat, pour the soup into a bowl, and top with chopped green onion.You can make this soup in a large batch at home and bring some of it to work. If you’d like to make it on the spot, it takes about 10 minutes when you use quick-cooking rice noodles. If you are without a stove top or burner to boil water, you can still dissolve the bouillon in hot or warm water, exclude the noodles, and then add the vegetables in their raw form. Veggies like celery, kale, or sliced fennel bulb will still wilt and cook in the hot water.Ava Waits is a Nutrition Mentor and Global Nutrition Concierge™ at www.ParisianPicnics.com. She supports busy people who are often away from their kitchens, especially for long workdays and for travel. If you’d like to sample her gentle and enjoyable approach to nutrition, please visit her website for more tips, recipes and videos.
Facebook30Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Harlequin Productions Sixties Chicks Too, Harlequin Productions’ highly successful summer musical, has been extended for an additional week and will now close on July 25. Harlequin’s original musical celebration of the 1960’s greatest female singers and songwriters has attracted thousands of patrons to the State Theater in downtown Olympia.“We extend our summer musicals for additional weeks if the demand is there,” said Harlequin Artistic Director and Director of the show, Linda Whitney. “In this case the demand has been overwhelming, and that’s a great problem to have!”The show, which was originally scheduled to finish its performance run on July 19, features songs by such artists as Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, The Supremes, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, and more.WHO: Harlequin ProductionsWHAT: Sixties Chicks Too, a Harlequin original musical celebrationWHEN: June 18-July 25, 2015; Thursdays-Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sunday matinees at 2:00pmWHERE: The Historic State Theater – 202 4th Avenue East, Downtown Olympia 98501PRICE: General: $39, Senior/Military: $35, Student/Youth: $2DEALS: Rush tickets available at Box Office ½ hour before curtainTICKETS: Tickets and info available at harlequinproductions.org, or by calling 360/786-0151RATING: Bring the family!Harlequin Productions is a professional not-for-profit theater company in Olympia, WA, dedicated to the creation of stimulating and enriching theatrical experiences by producing an eclectic season of new works, “buried treasures,” and unconventional treatments of classics. Through a dynamic selection of extraordinary material, we explore the human adventure in search of theatrical magic that stretches the mind, nourishes the soul, and inspires human empathy.