The Wayne State Student Senate elected its 2021-2022 academic year executive board at its virtual Senate Installation Thursday.

Moderated by Dean of Students David Strauss, the ceremony, which usually takes place in person, was abbreviated to accommodate for the virtual platform.

“It has been my honor to serve my fellow Wayne State University students, to represent them, their interests and needs and to help them in their pursuit of academic excellence and success,” Strauss said, reading the discharge statement usually repeated by exiting senators. “Congratulations to all of you. Your term of office is now complete.”

Senate released its 11 executive board members from their terms, including former president Riya Chhabra, who graduated on Wednesday. Of those still attending WSU, recently released executive board members can still run for executive board positions.

“Thank you everyone so much for such a great year,” Chhabra said upon her exit. “It was just one of the biggest honors to serve as president this year. It's an amazing experience being on Senate. It’s such a great opportunity. You make so much change and such a positive impact, so I'm very excited for all of you and to see what you all will do, and I wish you nothing but the best.”

New members were also recognized at this ceremony, taking an oath to lead in the best interest of the WSU student population, as recited by Strauss.

Elections took place amongst new Senate members to fill executive board positions.

Sailor Mayes, former director of Government Affairs, was self-nominated for the presidential position and the only senator to be nominated in the category. Mayes said she is dedicated to Senate and all WSU students.

“I'm very passionate about student affairs and very passionate about the student body,” Mayes said. “I lived at Wayne State, this is my third year at Wayne State, and I continue to want to be at Wayne state and be on the Student Senate and serve all of you guys. And that is why I want to be Student Senate President.”

Mayes was elected as Senate president for the 2021-2022 academic year and took over the position immediately.

Nominations for Vice President followed, with Jasmine Coles, former treasurer and representative for the School of Medicine, being the only nominee. She, too, was self nominated.

As vice president, Coles said this year she is looking forward to expanding upon initiatives to better accommodate Black students.

“Black student success is never done in my eyes so I'm hoping to revamp to see if there's anything left on our to do list,” Coles said. “If not, we’ve got to find some sort of new project to get started with.”

The position of parliamentarian was initially left vacant, as there were no senators nominated. After a few words of encouragement, senators were more open to applying for positions.

Senator Yousra Zouani was nominated and elected for Senate parliamentarian. For the position of treasurer, first-time Senator Fatima Hammoud was nominated and elected. Senator at Large Nasrin Nesha then nominated herself for and was elected Senate Secretary.

Director of Governmental Affairs was the first position with two nominations. Abe Ahmad and Harrison Cole, both rising juniors, were each nominated. Both members are new to Senate.

Cole was elected over Ahmad as Director of Governmental Affairs. 

Director of Community Affairs was next, and Mannat Bedi was the only nominee in the category. Bedi, who held the position this past year, was re-elected for a second term.

Danishi Bedi was the only nominee for Director of Student Services. Bedi, the former Director of Public Relations, was elected to the new position.

The final position was Director of Public Relations. The only nominee was first-time Senator Kelly Whitlock, who was elected.

WSU Student Senate will hold its next virtual meeting on May 20 at 6 p.m.

Alanna Williams is a correspondent for The South End. She can be reached at

Cover photo by Guneet Ghotra. Guneet is the graphic designer for The South End. She can be reached at