Brent Mayberry (N/A) and Denny Berndt (Grad.) were both unanimously impeached and removed from office tonight by the Student Government Association Senate for absences and neglect-of-duty.
The Rules and Administration Committee put forth subpoenas and articles of impeachment last meeting, but kept the resolutions of impeachment in committee until this week. R&A Committee chair Erika Allen (Hon.) said the committee had given them plenty of opportunity to provide documentation and explanation to the committee, but failed to do so.
These make the fourth and fifth impeachment-removals for the 48th Session of the Student Senate, more than in at least a decade’s worth of sessions.
In addition, the Senate heard legislation about smoking signs and ashtray locations around campus. This legislation comes as a direct result of the town hall meetings and the ballots that SGA has invested in over the past two months.
Sen. Katherine Lindley (Grad.), who authored and introduced the bill, said that this legislation is one of the first steps in addressing students’ concerns about smoking on campus. The legislation offers support of the Senate in changing and moving signage around campus to reflect the current 20-foot regulation distance of smokers from doorways and walkways leading up to doorways. The legislation also supports the movement of ashtrays all across campus to follow this rule as well, to not encourage students from breaking the operating policy of the University.
Lindley’s legislation reports the results of the questions on the election ballots as:
- 52 percent of students were in favor of a tobacco-free campus;
- 61 percent of students were in favor of a smoke-free campus;
- 55 percent of students were in favor of a smoke-free campus with hot spots.
These results, however, are only of the 15.2 percent of students who voted in the election.
In addition to the impeachments and the smoking legislation, the Senate approved a measure to ask the Daily Toreador for space to print diversity information, sent two bills to committees about sustainability and the SGA Code of Ethics, and voted to remove a resolution about an online ride board (to encourage out-of-town carpooling) from discussion until called upon again.
The Senate’s Budget and Finance Committee reported it has been and will continue hearing appeals about the 2013-14 Student Organization Funding Bill after Spring Break, but kept the bill unofficial and in committee until the appeals were completed.
The meeting tonight, the Thursday right before Spring Break, only lasted 30 minutes — from 6:05 p.m. to 6:35 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled in two weeks, the Thursday after Spring Break, at 6 p.m. in Room 353 of the College of Media and Communication.