Amidst tears and laughter, the final ASUA Senate meeting of the semester came to a close Wednesday night.
With no new business to discuss besides the appointments made by President-elect Issac Ortega, Executive Vice President-elect Jordan Allison and Administrative Vice President-elect Daniel Douglas, the members of the senate took this last meeting to thank each other.
Sen. Diego Alvarez opened by reminiscing about where he was last year and where the Associated Students of the University of Arizona has taken him.
“Last year I didn’t do anything with my life really, but this year I ran as senator, and I got in,” Alvarez said. “But now, working with you guys as a senate, we’ve empowered students, represented them, let them know of resources available and helped them be sustainable.”
Sen. Zachary Miller also said ASUA played an important role in his life.
“I wasn’t really involved in anything before this,” Miller said. “This was really the stepping stone into becoming the man I am today. The relationships we’ve created are things we’re going to remember for the rest of our lives.”
Sen. Christopher Seffren also emphasized how close all of the senators became during the year.
“We’re not just a senate, we’re not just a governing body, we’re family,” Seffren said. “It’s been an unreal experience, and I’m glad I got to know you guys.”
Barely holding back tears, Sen. Dakota Staren thanked her fellow senators.
“I loved working with you guys, and I still don’t want to move out of my desk,” Staren said. “This has been such an incredible experience that not many people get, and I’m so grateful to have had it.”
Many of the senators also took the time to thank Brian Seastone, the Chief of the University of Arizona Police Department, especially Ortega.
“It’s really rare to find somebody who gives a lot to a lot of people without ever wavering, and I’m looking forward to working closely with you next year,” Ortega said.
Executive Vice President Danielle Novelly expressed her gratitude to Seastone as well, having to pause often to cry.
“Thank you so much for everything over the last two years; it’s pretty much a thankless job that you do,” Novelly said. “I always know that no matter what, you’ll be there. This relationship is an awesome one, and it’s one that I will cherish forever.”
Novelly also broke down while thanking her Chief of Staff, Daniel Anderson, but Anderson picked up with a thank-you of his own.
“I cannot imagine my year going another way with me not being at your side,” Anderson said. “You did it, you did it successfully, you shook the dirt off your shoulders, you took the shit and you touched lives every single day you were in the office.”
Anderson also congratulated the rest of the senate, thanking them for their hard work.
“All of you guys are going to do special things, regardless of what you choose to do in the future,” Anderson said. “You all have a knack for making this campus better, making sure those 40,000 students you represent have a voice, the 10 of you are their voice, and I saw that you genuinely care about them.”
Finally, the meeting concluded with each senator saying the word “bang” so that this year’s ASUA senate members could say they went out with a bang.
—Follow news reporter Elizabeth Eaton on Twitter @Liz_Eaton95