On Sunday night, the Undergraduate Assembly elected College senior and UA member Ali Huberlie as its new treasurer.
Huberlie, who is the former Student Activities Council chairwoman, will replace Wharton senior and ex-UA treasurer Ryan Houston, who resigned last Sunday.
Houston resigned from the UA last week after a petition to impeach him from his position as UA Treasurer was circulated and signed by more than one-third of all UA members, according to College senior and UA member Mo Shahin.
Huberlie — who will assume the position immediately — will lead the Budget Committee in determining the allocation of the UA’s $1.9 million budget, which is due to be presented to the general body on Feb. 13.
Although Huberlie said she is “quite looking forward to having a carefree end of senior year,” she recognizes the concerns of stepping into the role of Treasurer so close to the UA budget allocation process.
“This isn’t a typical treasurer role at this point,” Huberlie said. “Three weeks before [the budget allocation process] is certainly not the way this is supposed to be.”
Huberlie was elected to office over College senior and Budget Committee member Emerson Brooking, a former Daily Pennsylvanian columnist. She received 18 votes to Brooking’s 12. Two UA members abstained from voting.
Many expressed confidence in Huberlie’s new role.
“The time will be a challenge, but I think they will be able to pull it together,” College junior and UA Secretary Cynthia Ip said.
Huberlie as well as many UA members cited her experience as SAC chairwoman as a great asset in approaching the budgetary process.
Huberlie explained that as the former SAC chairwoman, she “understands how it is to be on the other side [of the budget allocation process].”
“It was a unique opportunity for the UA to have this different voice … I bring a different offering to the table,” Huberlie said.
College senior and UA President Matt Amalfitano agreed that Huberlie “brings a tremendous perspective to the Treasurer role,” he said.
When prompted about his relationship with longtime girlfriend Huberlie, Amalfitano said there is “absolutely no conflict of interest.”
“It was a coincidence that I felt that it was a good decision for her and for the body,” he said.
College freshman and UA member Ernest Owens added that Huberlie worked closely with SAC-funded student groups during her one-year tenure.
“That’s what the UA’s about: understanding the students,” he said.
However, other UA members view Huberlie’s former position as SAC chairwoman as a cause for concern.
During Brooking’s address to the body, he explained that Huberlie, as former SAC chairwoman, “shouldn’t be put in charge of allocating money to where she used to be a part of and still has ties to.”
Although Brooking voiced his concerns to the UA body, “they clearly did not take it with the same weight that I do,” he said.
Even though Brooking was not elected Treasurer, he will still be involved with the budget allocation process as a member of the Budget Committee.
“She has plenty of familiarity with the way this organization works,” he said. “I look forward to what comes next.”Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.