The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Student Government Association proceedings questioned

By Jacob Beltran/@JBfromSA

Student Government Association’s proceedings were the hot point of a Feb. 26 senate meeting, during which the judicial branch presented and answered questions submitted by the organization’s members in December 2014.

The questions are part of a judicial review, which Holliday argued should have been asked, reviewed and answered in December.

Concerns revolve around branch membership, whether a member was properly removed from office, and what powers the president has in terms of voting.

Hoyt Garner, a justice of the Student Government Association, said the branch would present an answer as to whether or not a vote can be invalidated after it is cast during a meeting at a later date.

During the meeting, Garner attempted to read off questions submitted for review by other SGA members when President Andres Holliday objected to the reading.

“This is out of order,” he said firmly, pointing at Garner from his seat before he could begin.

Holliday argued that the judicial branch reached decisions on the questions without inviting SGA members and the student body to the process.

“Do you want an answer, or do you not want an answer?” Garner responded during their exchange.

“I want the court date is what I want,” Holliday said.

That’s when David Adebayo ordered Holliday to be silent.

Allison Garcia, chief of staff to the student body president, said in a March 5 interview that the constitution identifies the judicial branch as a body that reviews whether decisions made during SGA meetings are constitutional.

“Their role is making sure we are following the constitution,” Garcia said. “For example, if I disagree this is constitutional, you go to them to look into the issue, the judicial branch then holds a hearing. They come back and as a judicial branch and say, ‘These are the decisions we have made. Either we stand by them or not.’”

Now, the senate will review the judicial decisions, Garcia said.

During the meeting, once Garner finished reading his questions, members chimed in during a discussion portion.

Holliday said the sessions in which the questions were answered should have been open to SGA members.

Several members referred to former Chief Justice Karissa Stigall, who graduated in December, to ask why she wasn’t present to read the questions to the association.

Members asked if she was supposed to present in the meetings, to which Ganer responded that she is not obliged to be in attendance.

“He’s not the person to ask,” Holliday argued.

Garner said the answers were presented as they should be. “What you do with it is what you do with it,” he said.

Jennifer Faubion, elected senator of education during the meeting, voted to put together a committee to review the findings of the judicial branch, set to be presented at the next meeting.

Fox anchor will serve as campus’ mayoral forum moderator

In other business, student organization liason Christian Mac Donald, head of the planning committee, guided the members through a planning session for the upcoming mayoral forum, scheduled for 6 p.m. April 1 at the Main Campus Auditorium.

Mac Donald announced that Michael Valdez, former KABB Fox 29 news anchor, will moderate.

Members decided that $2,000 given to them by sponsors was enough for decorations needed for the forum.

Event sponsors include Americans for Prosperity, the South San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Bexar County Young Democrats, Turning Point USA, the National Association Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, and the Young Republicans of Bexar County.

Earlier during the meeting, Holliday shared other projects the association will initiate, including student representation on university committees, an initiative to curb grade inflation, and a digital stamp for campus flyers.

About the Author

Jacob Beltran
Jacob Beltran
Jacob Beltran is the Public Editor of The Mesquite, appointed by Texas A&M-San Antonio’s Student Media Board. Jacob is a communication-journalism major and attended San Antonio College where he served as Web Editor on The Ranger, San Antonio College’s award-winning newspaper. He is a 2008 St. Anthony’s Catholic High School graduate and is pursuing a career as a photographer and investigative journalist/magazine writer. Jacob is a part-time editorial assistant at the San Antonio Express-News.

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