SA: five senate slots will remain vacant

Heather Mangan

Heather Mangan

After a lengthy debate Nov. 22, the Students’ Association voted to not fill the seats of the five senators who are resigning.

“As a senate, we are not going to do anything about those open seats,” said SA President Amanda Mattingly.

The dilemma of what to do about the open seats has left the SA in a lurch since it has never had this many senators quit at one time.

Two senators are planning to study abroad next semester. Two more say they don’t have time, and another is transferring.

SA’s bylaws currently do not state what action should be done if a senator leaves before his or her term has ended, Mattingly said.

At the Nov. 22 meeting, the SA discussed forming a College Council to make up for the open seats.

The council would have been comprised of people from the colleges that have open seats, which includes, nursing, pharmacy, arts and science and family and consumer sciences.

The members of the council wouldn’t have been allowed to vote and could only make recommendations to their colleges’ senators.

It was orginally approved but senators from the College of Agriculture of Biology brought the resolution back into action and it failed to get the senate’s approval.

Vice President Doug Timm said that the senators thought the orginal resolution was unnecessary.

“It failed because we have quorum (already) and every college is getting represented,” he said.

Senators met in a closed session Nov. 15 to discuss what action they should take about the new vacancies.

“(The resolution) was written on behalf of what we discussed last week,” Mattingly said. “This is our way of working with the situation we have now.”

The College Council was drafted in the resolution to “alleviate the burn put on by” the open seats on the senate, Mattingly said.

During dicussion of the resolution before any action was taken, some senators argued that the council would allow a complete representation of all colleges in the senate. The council could have also brought students with a variety of interests and different ideas to the senate.

However, other senators argued that all colleges would still be represented and it wouldn’t make a difference because those on the council don’t have voting privileges.

Some senators also argued that the council wouldn’t affect quorum. Quorum is 50 percent of the members plus one and it fluctuates with the senate size.

Mattingly said that some students had already expressed interest in replacing senators who have resigned. She said students approached her after an article about the situation was printed in the Nov. 16 issue of the Collegian.

“The article last week has generated a lot of interest,” she said.

The council would have only been a temporary solution until the bylaws were changed, Mattingly said.

But because the resolution failed, Mattingly said there are no current plans to change the bylaws.