Senate holds last meeting of the semester

The Senate held its last meeting of the semester at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Student Center room 310A.

The new Speaker of the Senate and Judicial Sergeant were elected. Keira Fegan and Pyle ran for the speaker position, and Fegan was re-elected with a 6-3 vote. David Konarske and John McAllister ran for Judicial Sergeant. McAllister defeated incumbent Konarske 7-3.

In old business, Senator William McDonald added term limit veto override to the agenda. Senator Joseph Pernicano presented the resolution which originally passed 14-4 on Feb. 10 before President Miller vetoed it.

About 1,500 students responded to a survey on my.emich if they thought term limits should be implemented or if they should vote on implementing them in the March election. Seventy-three percent of the students surveyed said they would like to vote on the measure.

Discussion between senators went back and forth. Many senators believed they should act on part of the students they represent. Senator Nate Pyle said the surveyed students represent the students who actually care about Student Government and to keep that in mind.

The override failed 10-6.

Senator McDonald presented a resolution to add scholarship for senators. Senators could apply for $50 at the end of every month by submitting a request form with their grade and GPA information.

“It violates university policy because it is recognized as a gift,” President Miller said. Reimbursement is only allowed for appointed staff members.

McDonald said he emailed Gloria Hage about the scholarship, and she seemed to think it was OK with university policy and gave him the request form.

After a 10-minute recess, the emailed conversation was produced. It was revealed that McDonald had been in contact with Donna Holubik, not Hage. McDonald said he was mistaken.

After more discussion, the resolution did not pass.

McDonald also presented a resolution to create an oversight committee. An earlier version of this resolution was vetoed by President Miller February 12.

The updated resolution removed offensive language to remove pay, which in turn removed legal liability the original version entailed.

The committee would oversee the usage of funds, advise impeachments and oversee the executive board. The members on the committee would serve in addition to their regular committees.

The resolution passed unanimously.

The Senate failed an updated resolution to codify officer pay. The resolution changed language concerning withholding pay. If passed it would have ensured pay for the judicial sergeant and speaker of the senate.

Several senators voiced concerns about budget issues, and the resolution failed 14-3.

Four other resolutions were passed.

  • A resolution to support bipartisanship legislation to give Michigan college graduates tax credit for staying in Michigan after graduation passed with a 17-0 vote.
  • A resolution to fix typographical errors and clean up the language of the bylaws was also passed unanimously.
  • A resolution to serve as a statement of support for the Take on Hate campaign also passed unanimously.
  • A resolution to offer students with hang tangs free parking at meter spots on weekends passed 12-1-1.
  • Carl Matherly expressed concern about the election commission. “I felt as though the way the election commission was done was not efficient. I felt as though they should be utilizing some kind of parliamentary procedure. There was no documentation of what was said or how people voted. It was far too informal. This is the election of the student body president. We’re dealing with thousands of student votes. Meetings run more effectively. Not to say they did a poor job, but they could have done a better job.”

    Sabrina Ford, 2015 Student Body presidential candidate, echoed Matherly’s concerns during gallery comments. “There was no formal grievance process,” she said. “If something goes wrong, there should be a formal process to make sure it didn’t affect elections.”

    Both Ford and Matherly witnessed and heard about several students who had issues voting during elections – enough votes, Ford believes, to possibly have had an impact on election results.

    Ford has filed a formal report with the election commission, they are reviewing the report and will be meeting Ford Thursday, April 9 to discuss the report and ask further questions about the filed grievance before releasing a public statement.

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