Following the announcement of ASMSU President Gwynn Simeniuk’s resignation, current vice-president Levi Birky will fill the office of president as of Oct. 1. The ASMSU Constitution dictates that the new president nominates a candidate to fill the office of vice-president; Birky has nominated Holly Capp and if Capp receives a majority vote from the ASMSU Senate on Oct. 1, she will begin her duties as vice-president.
Birky chose Capp based on her experience with ASMSU, as an AdvoCat coordinator and with university administration. Upon receiving Birky’s nomination, Capp submitted her application as well as recommendations from various MSU faculty to ASMSU colleagues.
Capp began her involvement with ASMSU last December as the Elections Director/Associate, a position she currrently holds. She held the ASMSU Senate Secretary position and served on the ASMSU Legislative Committee. Also the AdvoCat Coordinator for the MSU Office of Admissions, Capp hopes to bring the experience from the diverse set of students she works with in that position to ASMSU. Capp was also a Student Regent finalist last spring, which involved learning about student government and allowed her to served as a student representative on the Montana Board of Public Education.
Capp has worked with Birky in the past and believes this will help them to accomplish their future goals. “I think that Levi and I can work very closely together,” Capp said. “We have before, he was actually my liaison last year in elections and I did a lot of work with him on the legislative committee as well so we know how each other works and I think it definitely compliments each other. I think that we can set that out both internally and externally to the university [sic].”
Birky and Capp are now focused on finding out what students expect from a student leader and what they would like to see from student government. “I think we’re actually probably going to do something a little revolutionary for a politician and just listen for these next couple weeks and then after that listening we’ll set some priorities and goals,” Birky said. “I think what we really need to focus on in this transition especially is gaining some trust back with the students and I think that’s best done through listening.”
Birky believes that expecting students to come to their student government is no longer a viable method of learning what students want so he plans to go out to student groups. “It’s time for us to actually get out there and see what they have to say,” Birky said.
Birky and Capp have held office hours throughout this week for students to voice their questions and concerns about the transition. Pending ASMSU Senate’s approval of Capp filling the position of vice president, her office hours will be posted on ASMSU’s website. Birky and Capp both expressed that while the situation is not ideal, they are looking forward to continuing the success of ASMSU. Capp’s resume, cover letter, recommendations and more information on the transition can be found a www.montana.edu/asmsu/.
Arrested and Charged with DUI and parking on sidewalk: Aug. 16
Released Statement to the Exponent: Sept. 3
ASMSU votes on censure: Sept. 17
Simeniuk announces that she will step down from office: Sept. 23
Simeniuk leaves office and Levi Birky becomes president: Oct. 1
ASMSU Senate votes on new VP nominee: Oct. 1