SA rule mixup means some senators must be re-elected

By Jackie Nevarez

Nine Student Association senator-at-large candidates will have to go before the SA Senate again after a breach of SA Bylaws occurred when they were elected Sunday, said SA Senate Speaker Dillon Domke.

At Sunday’s SA Senate meeting, the Senate interviewed and voted in nine senators-at-large by a simple majority vote, violating article II, section 5 of the SA Bylaws regarding Senate vacancies. The bylaw states “applicants must be approved by a two-thirds vote of those present and voting.”

The bylaws also state newly approved senators do not take office until after voting has taken place on every candidate at the meeting.

Senators-at-large voted in business matters after their individual appointments Sunday, making all the votes of those selected moot.

“There [were] a couple that would have been close to the two-thirds … but if you were to look at it and take out those members that weren’t supposed to be voting, it would be unclear to us as to whether or not those individuals in question would have garnered the support to get that two-thirds number,” Domke said.

Domke called an emergency meeting of the Rules and Procedure committee Monday, and the committee moved unanimously to reconsider the resolutions to appoint the senators-at-large before the legislation could be signed into law and the senators could assume office. Section 60 of Robert’s Rules of Orders, rules used by the SA Senate to run its meetings, states a resolution that has already been adapted may be revisited, Domke said.

Domke said he takes full responsibility for the mistakes made by the Senate, although he said they have been made and not pointed out since he came on as senator-at-large in September 2012.

“This is something that I kind of find funny that no one has noticed before … the way that we’ve done senator-at-large has always been the same way that I’ve gotten on Senate, which was two years ago,” Domke said. “I know people have said that’s how they did it even before my time.”

Stipulations have been made to revisit the senator-at-large candidates: Applicants’ speeches, which the bylaws state may be up to five minutes long, will decrease to one minute and 30 seconds and questions from the Senate will be limited to senators who did not attend Sunday’s meeting. The discussion of the Senate will remain open to every senator.

Candidates Ben and Dominic Scaduto had close votes that wouldn’t fulfill the two-thirds requirement, and Sean Birt, as the last candidate to be voted on, could have up to eight votes from other candidates who had just been voted in, which would not count for him, Domke said.

“We cannot tell by the way we voted, whether they were yea votes or nay votes because it was not a rollcall vote. It was a standing vote,” Domke said. “That’s why we decided, in fairness to everyone, just bring everyone back up and redo it in accordance with the bylaws… .”