Student Senate approves budgets

Student Senate approved the four student fee-funded budgets with unanimous consent from the senate other than the University Board budget.

After reviewing the line items for UB, most of the senate agreed the $4,530 was reasonable to be able to put on events more students would likely go to. Aside from two senate members who abstained for a conflict of interest and two members who votes against the UB budget, the other three budgets were voted in with little questioning from the senate.

While the senate has approved these budgets including, the apportionment board, the student government, the UB and the Student Recreation Center budgets, Dan Nadler, the vice president for student affairs, has the final approval.

Nadler said his decision will be made before the senate meeting in order for him to make his announcement. Despite the need for his final say so, he said he could not recall a time in which he has denied the senate-approved budget.

Greg Schooner, associate justice for the student supreme court, announced the court’s unanimous opinion on the debacle during the Fall 2013 Student Senate Speaker election.

During the elections, Hannah Edwards was elected Student Senate Speaker on majority rule despite bylaws stating the speaker needed 51 percent of the vote. This was not the case with the vote essentially being split between Hannah, Goodman and Chris Pickard, a former senate member, 8-7-7. There was a re-election and Brandon Goodman had been named Student Senate Speaker

Edwards had presented a grievance to the court on the process to insure complications would not arise in the future.

“We feel the whole process was conducted in good faith, that there was no malicious intent or any irreparable damage was done,” Schooner said. “We fully stand behind the election process results as they turned out.”

They did believe errors were made though, and the court had some recommendations to avoid them.

“The most egregious errors were denying senators the right to vote,” Schooner said. “I cant imagine any context where a senator representing a portion of the student body they represent would be denied the right to vote.”

He added part of the problem stemmed from the one enforcing meeting rules running for speaker, to ensure organization. The court recommended having a temporary parliamentarian during this election.

“Most of the mistakes were in not following Robert’s Rules,” Schooner said.

The court also recommended the changing the requirements to become Senate Speaker. He said to be elected, a senate member must have completed an entire senate term. He added abstains must count.

Student Body President Kaylia Eskew clarified these were only recommendations and the senate can review them to agree or not agree with their legitimacy.

A resolution to approve the budget to go to Springfield to lobby April 9 was tabled at the meeting as well. The trip expenses would cost $313. The resolution will be voted on at the next senate meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Arcola-Tuscola Room in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

Jarad Jarmon can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]