SGB members voice concern over lack of discussion

By Estelle Tran

Student Government Board passed new bylaws at last night’s meeting, but some board members… Student Government Board passed new bylaws at last night’s meeting, but some board members thought they didn’t have enough time to discuss them.

The board passed a new set of bylaws, which it had introduced at the meeting last week. The revisions include a provision Board President Kevin Morrison motioned that gives the president power to appoint students to standing committees when “deemed necessary” or requested by the University.

These committees include student representatives for the University Board of Trustees and the University Senate Council. Last week, board member Nila Devanath said giving the president that authority could create “cronyism.”

Board members Devanath and Ada Noh voted against the bylaws. Devanath voiced objection to the bylaws, but no one else spoke. Devanath said that Morrison didn’t allow enough time for discussion.

When SGB voted on a resolution to support law-abiding students who were arrested during the G-20 Summit, no one spoke — and Devanath said she didn’t have the chance.

“[Morrison] speaks so fast,” she said. “I was going to say something, but I was still looking at the bylaws.”

Devanath was the only person who voted against the resolution, which had been tabled along with the bylaws last week. She called for a more specific resolution to address the student problems with the G-20 at last week’s meeting.

Morrison said the week allows for discussion between board members.

“No one was jumping to speak [at the meeting],” he said, adding that board members should know how meetings run by now.

He added that the board members knew that he and board members Max Greenwald and Charlie Shull were writing a new version of the bylaws since early September.

The board cannot overturn the ruling, but Morrison said that bylaws are meant to be changed according to the standing board’s preferences.

Board member Andrew Freeman agreed with Devanath that the meeting went quickly. He did not, however, agree with the part of the new bylaws that gives the SGB president the authority appoint students to standing committees. He voted for the bylaws.

“As a board member, you pick and choose your battles,” he said. “It’s a loss, but it’s something that, for years to come, we can work to rectify.”

Freeman said the new bylaws are more concise and easier for students to understand. Noh said that she felt concerned about how the bylaws could affect future boards.

“Obviously, the bylaws indirectly affect the students,” she said.

Morrison said that students who disagree with the bylaws can approach board members, and they will consider writing new bylaws.