After last week’s Undergraduate Student Government meeting featured a long, impassioned debate regarding the University’s diversity fund in which a proposed amendment to the fund was tabled until Sept. 18, Tuesday’s meeting featured a more mellow discussion.
Following brief speeches from the Senior Director of Programming Keisuke Fujiwara and Speaker Pro Tempore Matt Crane, the Senate unanimously approved AJ Singh as the new Chief Justice of USG. Singh is a senior majoring in political science and non-governmental organizations and social change who has been an associate justice on the USG judicial branch since his freshman year. There was no debate prior to his appointment.
The previous chief justice, Charlynn Yeung, graduated last year and nominated Singh to take her place. Following Singh’s nomination, he was approved by USG President Debbie Lee, and confirmed by the senate on Tuesday.
The approval process is heavily based on the discretion of the former chief justice and an element of trust between the two USG branches.
“It has been precedent that we fully trust that the chief justice will make the wisest decision,” Lee said.
The judicial branch of USG is intentionally detached from the legislative branch in the name of checks and balances. Therefore, the chief justice carries out a very limited relationship with other branches of USG.
“As USG members who have the potential to be called into a session with [the] judicial [branch],” Lee said, “We shouldn’t know … the justices in a relationship where their biases may affect certain decisions where complete objectivity is needed.”
The senate approved of Singh based on their trust in Yeung to nominate a capable individual to succeed her. Singh will serve for the rest of the academic year as the USG Chief Justice until the process repeats next fall.