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Zach Thomason, newly elected chief of staff, gives a speech before the Student Senate Wednesday, October 24. Thomason was formerly the chair of the University Affairs committee and is replacing Daniel Lee as chief of staff. 

Student Senate confirmed a new chief of staff Wednesday evening at a special full body meeting.

Zach Thomason was nominated after Senate executives finished interviews Wednesday afternoon. He was confirmed by the body unanimously.

“We were looking for someone who had a deep understanding of [Senate rules and regulations] and a passion for Student Senate,” said Student Body President Noah Ries. “You really need someone who’s not going to get bogged down in having to read through 15 or 20 documents or having to read through SSRR for edits, and I think Zach is someone who can do that.”

Thomason was formerly the chair of the Senate University Affairs Committee. The committee elected sophomore College of Liberal Arts and Sciences senator Natalie Turner to replace him as chair.

“There are a lot of things that I’ve been apart of in the last year that were impactful within Senate and something I’m very proud of is the work that I’ve done within Senate,” Thomason said. “I see this as an opportunity for someone not only to go with that chief of staff role and be effective in it, which I believe I can do, but to also allow for new voices in Senate to be heard.”

He will fill the chief of staff position which has been vacant since former chief of staff Daniel Lee resigned from his position the weekend of Oct. 6.

Lee resigned following allegations of sexual misconduct. Senate had formed an impeachment committee, chaired by Thomason, which shared findings in an investigation of Lee on Oct. 4. The investigation ended when Lee resigned the following weekend.

Applications for the position opened Oct. 9, following Lee’s resignation, and Ries said that although applications for the vacant position were low, he was extremely impressed with the qualifications of those who did apply.

“I think we’re happy with our selection and I think Zach will be good for it,” Ries said.

As chief of staff, Thomason said he is planning to push more for engagement with student organizations on campus and encourage members of those organizations to get involved with Senate through committees.

“It’s never too late to cease this opportunity to get involved [in Senate],” Thomason said. “I think as chief of staff, one of the things I really want to push is everyone can be involved, everyone can have their voice heard.”