ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: SGA considers policy to oust truant executives
A Student Government Association CLASS senator and the Speaker introduced a bill at Wednesday’s Senate meeting that, if passed, would require the president and vice president to not miss more than eight meetings during their term.
The bill, which the SGA will vote on during its July 8 meeting, would automatically remove the president or vice president for missing eight excused or unexcused assemblies.
The bill’s author, CLASS Sen. Taylor Kilroy, said the idea came while reviewing the SGA constitution. He found that it does not require the SGA president and vice president to attend meetings. Kilroy said he wants this to change.
‘It is a great policy because right now judicial members have to attend, but there is no policy that says executives have to attend any meetings although they are SGA officers,’ Kilroy said.
Speaker Alexander Obregon felt the policy would hold executives to a higher standard.
‘I think (the president and vice president) should be at the meetings, and this is just an accountability issue pure and simple,’ said Obregon, SGA speaker and co-author of the bill.
Obregon said he doesn’t foresee SGA President Kenneth Fomunung and Vice President Prince Wilson missing multiple meetings. He said he wants a policy that will address possible problems before they occur.
‘Is there a need for this? Well, no, a situation has not occurred. But this bill is about being proactive rather than reactive,’ Obregon said.
Fomunung said he was not in complete support of the bill. He believes the bill should be amended, considering the requirements for his position can be filled outside of meetings.
‘I am not so against it. I just don’t like the notion that by not attending Senate meetings, the president is not acting out (his) duties,’ Fomunung said. ‘Being here within itself does not constitute a good president, but I like the initiative. I just don’t envision the president not being here. (And) I don’t like the idea of the president being removed from office automatically.’
Wilson said he is ‘not opposed to the policy,’ but felt ‘several corrections need to be made.’
Among Wilson’s recommendations is removing or changing the phrase ‘will be automatically removed from office.’ He said the executive office handles important issues that could not be easily shifted to others.
Honors Sen. Reyes Ramirez was not in support of the bill, because the president and vice president have paid office hours. Ramirez referenced the United States Senate, which does not require the U.S. president to attend meetings.
At-Large Sen. Sean Tarver would favor a policy that includes all paid SGA positions. Tarver also requested a reduction of the number of required meetings attended, but did not mention a specific amount.
‘I would like (the bill) to be a little tighter, and I would like to see all paid positions included since these people are being paid with student fees,’ Tarver said. ‘But other than that, I support the initiative.’
Senators also approved a bill Wednesday that established a Sergeant at Arms for SGA. Marketing sophomore Elliott Owen was appointed to the position.
Owen’s duties will include removing unruly members and observers from meetings and delivering official SGA documents.
‘This is something that we have talked for a while, and we thought it was a good idea,’ Obregon said. ‘We have had a few meetings were we could have used one.’
The Senators agreed, saying Owen would have no problem with removing people if a situation necessitated ejection. Owen has experience as a bouncer at Cougar Den, making him ‘perfect for (Sergeant at Arms),’ Obregon said.
Owen could make his first removal at the next SGA meeting, 7:30 p.m. July 8 at the Mediterranean Room inside the University Center Underground.