SA Senate shake up: SA president elect, 3 directors censured

Senators Taneisha Brown (left) and Jathia Macklin (right) listen as Senator Mike Theodore explains the censure proposed against director of student life Alandis Phillips.

By Jacqueline Evans

DeKALB | The Student Association Senate unanimously voted to censure Deldric Henderson, Alandis Phillips, Arlieta Hall and SA president-elect Elliot Echols.

Before the directors came before the Senate, Speaker of the Senate Austin Quick gave a reminder to senators.

“We have to look past personality; when someone comes up here its specifically about their job and their abilities to perform,” he said.

Echols, who is also the director of athletics and recreation, came before the Senate before he was censured. Sen. Mike Theodore, chairman of the Senate Procedural Review Committee, said he had missing weekly and staff reports as well as a failure to come before the Senate as least once a month as per the bylaws.

Echols commented on the environment of the Student Association in his defense, “It’s hard for us to be involved and be students,” Echols said. “There has been a lot of chaos and confusion within the office but we weren’t held accountable for our actions and we need to be held accountable now.”

Henderson, director of organizational development, was up for censure for missing weekly and staff reports and failure to come before the Senate.

“There is a lack of evidence that he’s been doing his job,” Sen. Nick Wians said.

Alandis Phillips, director of student life, defended himself before he was censured by due to missing staff reports.

“I’m not here to make excuses,” Phillips said. “Speaker Quick told me personally that he believes I’m doing my job.”

Quick said he believed Phillips, Echols and Hall are doing their jobs as directors, but that wasn’t why they were being censured.

“The issue is not a matter of job performance,” Quick said. “They [the procedural review committee] are censuring because they haven’t been coming before the Senate and presenting reports.”

Phillips said the censure was not a personal attack, but it was “attacking my future.” Theodore disagreed. “This is not a witch hunt,” Theodore said. “We’re going by the bylaws. This is all very straightforward.”

Arlieta Hall, director of public affairs, was censured due to missing staff and weekly reports, as well as failure to appear before the Senate.

“I have been doing my job and fulfilling the requirements,” Hall said. “I’m not here to make excuses.”

Hall was called before the procedural review committee Wednesday and questioned the point of the meeting.

“I was called before the committee Wednesday but I was unable to make it, but I feel like I would have been here anyway,” Hall said. As the censurings proceeded, Sen. Nik Champion suggested that the Senate regularly censure SA directors if they do not come bfore the Senate to present their reports. Hall voiced agreement to this idea.


The Senate made a number of bylaw changes Sunday night, as proposed by the procedural review committee.

“There’s a lot of gray area in the bylaws,” Theodore said. “We want to make sure everyone knows what’s expected of them.”

SA directors, which are paid positions, must now be confirmed in the second-to-last Senate meeting of the academic school year, as amended by Part I, Article III, Section 4.4 of the bylaws. They must be confirmed by the senate before they can receive payment as well as prepare weekly written staff reports and be given to outlined members of the SA.

The office hours the SA directors work must also be conducted during normal business hours of the SA.

The SA Senate also added a change to Part I, Article III, Section 3H of the bylaws, which outlines the exact duties of the executive branch of the SA, “We don’t want to add more bureaucracy but we need more checks and balances,” Quick said.

The change now requires the SA president to report the bylaw-mandated evaluations the president performs on the SA directors to be reported to the Senate.

Echols said the changes will improve job performance of SA members.

“Please understand that this is a new system and these changes will require everyone to perform at their best,” Echols said.


In addition to the by-law changes, Quick announced position changes within the SA.

Dan Matousek, director of academic affairs, has taken an official leave of absence. Chief of Staff Josh Venaas, who was censured last week by the Senate, was confirmed to take Matousek’s place. Steven Vaughn, who was serving as the director of governmental affairs, is now the SA interim chief of staff.

Quick also commented that neither Vaughn nor Venaas needed to be confirmed by the Senate for their new positions because they were already confirmed for their former positions.