The Binghamton University Student Association (SA) Congress unanimously elected Christopher Ribaric as their new speaker.

The SA Congress is the legislative branch of the SA and is made up of 35 representatives from each residential community. According to Chance Fiorisi, the current chair of the Internal Affairs Committee and a sophomore majoring in political science, the speaker’s responsibility is to preside over all Congress meetings and designate a chair for each congressional committee to help govern the SA. Serving as the head of the Congress, the speaker is also a non-voting member of the E-Board, advocating for policy changes to make improvements on campus that help students.

Following the election result, Ribaric replaced Alexandria Chun, a junior majoring in philosophy, politics and law that served as the previous speaker of Congress. As Ribaric, a sophomore majoring in accounting, takes on his new role, he leaves behind his role as head of the Elections and Judiciary Committee. Ribaric currently oversees all SA E-Board elections and works with the Graduate Student Organization (GSO) to organize BU Council Representative elections.

Fiorisi, also the incoming SA executive vice president (EVP), expressed excitement in Ribaric’s appointment.

“I have known [Ribaric] for two years now, [and] he is an excellent choice for speaker,” Fiorisi wrote in an email. “He is a strong advocate for challenging ideas and compromise. As Elections and Judiciary Committee chair, he oversaw a [fair and transparent] election, which I ran in. [We] have a shared connection, and I am happy to see him serve as the next speaker of Congress.”

Rita Zheng, a sophomore double-majoring in philosophy, politics and law and Asian and Asian American studies, expressed confidence in Ribaric’s ability as speaker of Congress.

“I had the pleasure of serving in the Elections and Judiciary Committee, which [Ribaric] chaired, and it was overall a great experience,” Zheng wrote in an email. “The other members of the Committee and I looked forward to [Elections and Judiciary] every week. I am confident that [Ribaric] will do a great job as the new speaker.”

The SA Congress meets biweekly on Tuesdays, with committee meetings occurring on the off weeks. Congress meetings are open to all students, who are encouraged to attend. Students are also able to run to become Congress representatives at the start of each fall semester.

Laurie Kern, a sophomore majoring in environmental science, said that she was considering joining the SA.

“This is my first-time hearing about these election results, and it’s really impressive that he won with an unanimous vote,” Kern said. “I’ve been thinking about joining the [SA], so it’s good to know that the decision to choose a speaker was a collective decision.”