Long elected as new speaker of the senate

When freshman Jared Long ran for a senate seat in the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska with the Amplify team, he didn’t expect to become the new speaker of the senate.

A double major in journalism and political science, Long planned to represent the College of Arts and Sciences during his term. However, during the April 4 senate meeting, he was voted into the position for the 2018-19 senate year.

Long said he sees the role of Speaker of the Senate as having three main functions: keeping the student body organized, serving as liaison among committees and building relationships with senators.

Long said his experience as part of the Freshman Campus Leadership Associates this year has taught him to effectively communicate with ASUN members. As a freshman, he said he does not have as much experience as the two other nominees who served as senators last year, but he can turn his inexperience into a strength because of his dedication to ASUN.

“I’m very passionate about ASUN and so I’m going to put a lot of effort into making sure I can do the very best job I can do,” Long said. “Whatever my weaknesses may be, I can put in a lot of work to make sure I can turn those into strengths.”

Former FCLA co-chair Vinny Malene said Long is qualified for the position because he knows how to motivate others.

“I’ve been able to observe that he knows how to listen to people and I think what’s cool with [Long] is that he understands how to utilize a connection,” he said. “You can be friends with people and that’s great …  but you have to know how to motivate people based off of that relationship.”

Although he said Long is now his boss, Malene, a junior actuarial science major, said he and former FCLA co-chair Sarah Weisbecker will still act as mentors to him.

“It’s been cool to see him break out of his shell but now that he’ll be basically our boss, we can still mentor him even if he is our superior,” he said. “I think what I’ll be working [on] is making sure that he really feels like he’s taken that position because he deserves it.”

According to Long, it will be a challenge to bring together the entire senate body, as everyone has separate visions of ASUN’s future. He said it will be his job to bring together senators to create a team atmosphere that will allow ASUN to function to the best of its ability.

Although Long originally planned to be a senator who could actively participate in debate in controversial senate meetings, as speaker, he plans to let others lead the conversation.

“You can offer constructive criticism, but I think that criticism should be kept to a minimum just because you’re supposed to serve as a unifying role for the senate,” Long said.

Although the summer will break up his time as speaker, Long said he does not see the break as a challenge because he will be in Lincoln. He said he will work with the executive team behind-the-scenes before the real work starts next semester.

“I’m really excited to get to work,” Long said. “I’m going to work every day to make sure that I’m serving to the best of my ability …  because I genuinely care about the success of ASUN and the senate body and I really think there’s a lot of potential for this next year.”

Long is a 2016 Beloit High School graduate and is the son of Ed and Lisa Long, Beloit.

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