SGA votes down presidential nominees to executive board

Jack Dobbs

The Student Government Association president’s nominees for the associate justice seat on the Judicial Council and director of Academic and Student Affairs were struck down in a narrow vote at Tuesday’s meeting.

During his report, SGA President Stephen Mayer presented his nominees for the SGA Executive Board, including junior Wood Brown for associate justice.

The position has been vacant since the start of the year, and by the rules of the SGA constitution, it is up to the president to nominate a new justice. The Judicial Council reviewed about five complete applications for the vacant seat last week and narrowed the list down to three candidates, who were all interviewed on Monday.

While Mayer did not sit in on the interview process, he was emailed a list in which the three candidates’ resumes were listed and nominated Brown after looking over the information.

During the meeting, Brown gave a short speech where he said he had always wanted to aid the student body. 

“The reason I truly want to be part of this council is simply because I love this university and its students unlike any other,” Brown said. “It is not only the aesthetic beauty of the Hill that makes it great, rather the people who walk in and around it every single day.”

Following Brown’s speech, there was discussion among the senators. Questions ranged from the validity of Brown’s appointment to the appointment process itself.

During the discussion, Mayer said he wasn’t just looking for someone to help this year, but someone who will help the future of SGA.

Some senators questioned Mayer’s ability to know the best candidate if he was not present for the interview. Mayer said he was sequestered from the interviewing process, so he would not have any bias that would contaminate the candidates’ respective chances.

After debate and vote among the present senators, Brown’s nomination was struck down by a vote of eight in favor and seven against, with one abstention vote and one exemption. SGA bylaws state there must be a two-thirds majority vote or else the vote fails.

Mayer’s nominee for director of Academic and Student Affairs, Anna McAvoy, was also struck down in the Senate, with a vote of six in favor and nine against, again with one exemption and one abstention.

Four Senate committee chairs were approved during the meeting, including Mark Clark, CDI; Cassidy Townsend, Standing Against Violence and for Ending Self-Harm Committee; Trevor Huffman, Legislative Research Committee; and Aubrey Kelley for the Academic and Student Affairs committee.  

Following the confirmation hearing, the 2018-2019 budget was proposed by Administrative Vice President Harper Anderson.

The budget for this year stands at $100,000, which includes a $15,000 cut from last year’s budget. Moreover, $1,000 was taken from the scholarship fund and put into a discretionary account.

The 2018-2019 budget passed, with a vote of thirteen in favor and four against.

Reporter Jack Dobbs can be reached at 270-745-0655 and [email protected]