ASG questions voting procedure, elects two senators to off-campus positions
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 01:10
The Associated Student Government (ASG) met last Tuesday to elect the positions of parliamentarian, chair of sustainability committee and off-campus senator. They also questioned the appointment procedure of senior Christian Cook to the chief of staff position. Additionally, ASG discussed funding for club sports.
Junior Rob Minicucci and senior Michael Mitrakos ran for the position of off-campus senator, which represents off-campus students.
Minicucci and Mitrakos both said they were right for the position, wanting to help with off-campus student involvement.
“I want to add value to the organizations that I am a part of and add value to the school in general,” Minicucci said. “From the organizations that I have been a part of, I have seen change that can occur as a result of the organization, adding value to Miami’s campus.”
Mitrakos also stated his intentions.
“To give back to the students is a big accomplishment for me,” Mitrakos said. “I believe I can reach out to the students and bring in feedback.”
Senate elected both Minicucci and Mitrakos to the off-campus senator position.
First-year Senator Ifeolu Claytor was nominated by senior Senator Brandon Patterson for the position of parliamentarian. This position is in charge of knowing parliamentary procedure, such as bylaws and election protocol, and informs the president and members if there is an error in the procedure.
“I take a lot of pride in myself and in my work,” Claytor said. “I am clear, communicative, detail-oriented and respectful.”
Several senators were concerned about Claytor being a first-year student, including junior Senator Colleen Ryan.
“I agree with the nomination from senator Patterson, a first-year student in this position could really go far, but with the help of older, more experienced senators to guide him,” Ryan said.
Claytor was unanimously elected by the senate for the position of parliamentarian.
Senior Senator Liz Beumel was nominated by junior Senator Colleen Ryan for the chair of the sustainability committee, which deals with environmental affairs.
Student Body President Charlie Schreiber said he was impressed by Beumelʼs credentials.
“Not only is she extremely knowledgeable, but she is extremely passionate,” Schreiber said. “This is a really good time for us to get someone in this position that is so driven. Beumel is a great person to represent ASG for sustainability.”
The senate unanimously elected Beumel for the position.
During the previous meeting on Oct. 1, Schreiber nominated senior senator Christian Cook to the chief of staff position, one which aids the student body president with governmental procedure and works with the student court.
In this kind of voting procedure, according to the ASG standing rules, a simple majority must be garnered to confirm a senator to a certain position. A simple majority is reached if the amount of senators in favor of an appointment is more than the amount of senators against.
In this scenario, the senate voted 21-20-2 for Cook.
Failing to realize that the two abstentions do not count as votes for or against a senator’s appointment, President of the Senate Nick Miller announced that Cook had not been confirmed at the end of the meeting on Oct. 1.
At this Tuesday’s meeting, Miller explained that several senators had come forth expressing doubt that he had made a correct ruling. After looking at the bylaws, Miller said he realized he had indeed made an improper ruling, because he did not disregard the two abstentions as votes. Miller said the final vote should have been read as 21-20, thus confirming Cook for the position.
“There is no one that regrets making an improper ruling more than me,” Miller said.
Several senators, including President Pro-Tempore junior Michael Vostatek, brought up the fact all senators had never been given copies of the bylaws to follow and that Miller had not done a head count before taking a vote to ensure accuracy. It was also mentioned that some senators left during the executive session, a time when the senators discuss the candidate and then cast a vote, and that senators could have cast multiple votes since the voting was done anonymously.
“The senate needs to be aware of the standing rules,” Vostatek said.
Miller also said the bylaws need to be updated because they have not been in over seven years and contain many contradictions.
First-year Senator Claytor agreed with Miller.