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Sumnicht, Tauchen leave Senate legacy

April 17, 2014

Move over, Clinton and Bush families: there’s a new political legacy in town.

Former Student Senate President Sam Tauchen and current Senate President Tony Sumnicht have made this year a family affair. Two Thanksgivings ago, the two cousins looked at their combined leadership experience they had gained since starting at UW-River Falls and decided to run for Senate.

In the spring of 2013, Tauchen was elected president and Sumnicht was elected vice president.

When they started at UWRF, Tauchen went the Greek route while Sumnicht chose to become involved in residence life. Then, Tauchen became ethics chair of Senate when Sumnicht was on the Dining Services Committee. It was during this time that both of them started thinking about their ability to lead campus.

“Our paths really didn’t cross until we found out that, man, we represent a couple different interest groups across campus and we both have developed as leaders and decided to continue on that journey,” Tauchen said.

Once they were working together in a professional setting, Tauchen said it was easy to divide tasks and get things done. Sumnicht focused on state issues, especially after he became chair of UW Student Reps, and Tauchen focused on campus issues.

Senate was heavily focused on internal issues this academic year. The Student Shared Governance Modernization Act and restructuring how sport clubs and student media get funding were major focuses of Senate. Next year, Sumnicht said the Falcon Center will be one of the recurring topics Senate will visit.

“I give a lot of credit to Sam for taking on Student Senate president,” Sumnicht said. “You need to be passionate about the University to take it on, or it’s not worth your time.”

Sumnicht was recently elected Senate president and will now continue the legacy that he and Tauchen started those two Thanksgivings ago.

“Tony and I have both grown as leaders and it’s crazy not to see him by my side anymore,” Tauchen said. “He’s off to carry the Senate forward.”