Due to the lack of a quorum at a key meeting held on April 26, the budget and three executive officers positions might not be legitimate under the Student Government Association constitution.
The SGA budget presented at the last meeting of the spring could not be voted on since a majority of Senators were not in attendance. However, curiously enough, the lack of a quorum did not prevent the voting in of the Directors of Finance, Communications, and Student Relations in a closed session.
In order to have an approved budget for the fall semester the senate held an electronic vote via e-mail.
Parliamentarian and Student Senator Jacob Scott said that voting electronically forced a limited discussion on the budget but that it wasn’t in violation of the SGA constitution.
“As long as it’s not denied, it’s not necessarily allowed I guess but it’s not necessarily denied so I guess it’s kind of in a limbo state where we would have the ability to make a decision,” Scott said.
However, Robert’s Rules of Order, which SGA must follow “as a guide to govern the procedure and proceedings of all meetings,” denies the use e-mail as a way to hold meetings.
SGA President Dillon Harp disagrees with this interpretation of the constitution.
“Nothing in the constitution said that we couldn’t do an electronic vote and that is something that the Board of Governors does regularly,” Harp said. “Me being on the board for the past two years I felt like that as a good tool we could utilize over the summer that way we could get the ball rolling on the budget.”
However, the Board of Governors bylaws include a provision for the electronic meetings while SGA bylaws have no such provision. In addition the Board of Governors ratifies any electronic polls at their next meeting in accordance with the Robert’s Rules of Order website which states, “personal approval of a proposed action obtained from a majority of, or even all, board members separately is not valid board approval, since no meeting was held during which the proposed action could be properly debated. If action is taken by the board on the basis of individual approval, such action must be ratified by the board at its next regular meeting in order to become an official act.”
Nothing in any of the fall 2010 minutes indicates a vote was held to ratify the electronic budget vote.
The email sent to Senators calling the electronic meeting, the minutes of the meeting and the vote totals have not been posted to the SGA website and had not been sent to The Griffon News by press time.
SGA Vice President Robin Ussher could not be reached for comment.
As of Oct. 27 2010, the SGA budget was made available on their website. It can be found here