Mawa Iqbal, 23 News Reporter

The election came after Hunter Windholz, 49th Senate speaker, announced his resignation on Monday, Jan. 15.

According to a Jan. 17 press release from the MSA Senate Board, Windholz vacated his position “unexpectedly” and for unspecified “personal reasons.”

As outlined in the MSA bylaws, the duties of the speaker include following the MSA constitution and bylaws at all times, overseeing the legislative branch’s operations, appointing and removing Senate officers and assigning legislative requirements to Senate officers.

The MSA Senate board held the emergency full senate meeting in accordance with Chapter 3 section 1 of the MSA bylaws. The bylaws state that “it shall be the duty of the Chief Justice to facilitate the election in the event of a vacancy in the Office of the Speaker within two full senate meetings of the Speaker’s resignation or removal.”

There, Tutin ran against Campus and Community Relations Chair Tim Davis.

Both candidates were allowed to speak for six minutes on their qualifications and what they hope to accomplish during their terms. Citing personal experience working in the student affairs committee, Tutin emphasized the importance of making every person feel validated.

“I was constantly fighting to have my voice heard,” Tutin said when describing her semester working with the student affairs committee.“Even if we don’t go with [members’] project idea or if their input doesn’t go into the final amendment or bill, it’s important that they’re not speaking up in vain.”

Tutin ran on a platform that called for a more open system of communication between the senators and the speaker. One way she plans on accomplishing that goal is by “eliminating the stigma around asking for help.”

“I want people to feel like they can text or email me for their smallest and biggest questions,” Tutin said in an interview with MUTV after the election.


Tutin said that building a foundation of trust between her and the Senate body is especially important in the next month and a half. She cited anticipated budget cuts within the next fiscal year and the MSA presidential elections in March as reasons for needing a strong leader.

“I knew we needed somebody strong during this tumultuous time,” Tutin said. “Somebody who was just going to buckle up and drive our way through the next month and a half and I felt compelled to do that.”

Senator Kaitlyn Sawyer echoed a similar sentiment when speaking on Tutin’s behalf. She stressed the need for the interim speaker to be “someone who’s behind us.”

Aside from carrying out the responsibilities of her new role, Tutin wants to continue being a “friendly face to people across all committees.” Senator Lucas Smith, who also spoke on her behalf, cited this quality as to why Tutin, in particular, is fit for the role.

“She educated me on so much,” Smith said. “She made me feel comfortable coming to Senate and I think she does that for so many people in this chamber.”

For a full video of the Senate meeting, click here.

Edited by Isabel Lohman |

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