The Duke Student Government Senate elected a new senate president pro-tempore at its Wednesday meeting.

Senior John Turanchik, who had received a warning for missing two meetings, resigned from his post as senate president pro-tempore during the weekend. When asked about his resignation, Turanchik said he wanted to focus his time on his friends and future during the second semester of his senior year. 

Executive Vice President Ilana Weisman, a senior, noted that a resignation in the middle of the year was a new event and that there was no settled protocol to elect an interim replacement. Senators voted in favor of Weisman’s suggested plan—that only those who have been in DSG for two years could participate in the internal election.  A majority vote decided on the winner, instead of a plurality.

Junior Sean Gilbert, senator for social culture, sophomore Jackson Dellinger, senator for Durham and regional affairs and sophomore Kristina Smith, senator for services, were nominated for the position. Dellinger is also currently running for the role of DSG president. 

After an internal vote, Smith was elected to the position of senate president pro-tempore for the remainder of the year.

“I think Kristina is a great senator, and I think she cares a lot about the makeup of the Senate," Weisman said. "I’m really excited to work with her."

Smith explained she hoped to bring her passion for inclusion to the executive board.

“Like I said in my speech, I think that a large part of the pro-tempore’s role is to be a voice for the Senate—to represent all of the voices, even those that might be dissenting against the majority [or] against [the executive board],” she said. “I hope to bring that to the [executive board] to further conversation and really include all voices in the Senate.”

The Senate heard from senior Tristan Haas, senator for social culture, about the Duke Student Assistance Group. This initiative would station eight students—in four teams of two—outside of Shooters II and on the corner of East Campus every Saturday night and during days of expected high traffic. 

According to Haas' presentation, the objective of the group is "to act as a resource to any individuals who find themselves intimidated, alone or excessively impaired by alcohol." Students would be given "Prevent. Act. Challenge. Teach" training to participate. 

Some students were concerned about the accountability of these eight students and whether they would actually intervene when appropriate. Haas responded that the team aspect of the initiative would hopefully prevent such problems.

The initiative plans to begin its trial runs April 8, Haas said. 

In other business:

The Senate passed a budgetary statute of $1,885 for TEDxDuke from the DSG surplus fund.