SA Senate passes new operating manual


District 5 senator Steven Ray Vaughn discusses an issue at Sunday night’s meeting of the Student Association Senate in the Sky Room of the Holmes Student Center.

By Felix Sarver

After much debate, the Student Association Senate operating manual was passed by the Senate at its meeting Sunday.

Senate Speaker Austin Quick said the new operating manual was an improvement over the previous version; it is shorter and enables senators to be more representative of their districts.

Senator Phillip Jones said he was glad the operating manual encourages stronger representation of students.

“I feel it is important for us … that we listen to the issues that are coming from our constituents,” Jones said.

Senator Steven Ray Vaughn made a motion to amend the manual to give Senators the ability to appeal absences to the SA Rules and Procedures committee. Currently, Senators can only appeal to the Speaker.

“I really felt that there should be an alternative to appeal absences,” Vaughn said.

Quick said the policy regarding absences in the operating manual is designed to emphasize accountability on part of the Senators. According to the operating manual, if a Senator is absent from three Senate meetings in a single semester, that Senator is removed from office.

The Senate rejected Vaughn’s amendment to the manual.

Vaughn also proposed a bill to hold new Speaker elections, which the Senate voted to send to the Rules and Procedures committee for review.

Senator Mike Theodore, a member of the committee, said the bill deserved further inspection.

“If there are any major changes to our bylaws, the Rules and Procedures committee needs to review it,” Theodore said.

The bill seems to violate the SA Constitution, Theodore said.

Vaughn said the bill was created because he thought it was strange newly-elected Senators could not pick a new Speaker. Traditionally, a Speaker is chosen at the end of the previous academic year.

“I really do think we have been robbed from previous sessions of the Senate to pick a Speaker,” Vaughn said. “To get true representation, we need to pick a Speaker.”

Vaughn said about five other Senators agreed with him about this issue.

During the Rules and Procedure committee meeting Sunday night, it was decided the bill be withdrawn.

The Thaakat Foundation and Red Riot student organizations were recognized by the Senate. Winnie Okafor was confirmed as associate justice for the SA Supreme Court and Kyle Plate was confirmed as deputy treasurer.