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November 16, 2010

SGA Wars: President’s Proposal Causes Internal Controversy

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Written by: The Maroon Tiger

SGA president Travis Randle recently drafted a proposal to the SGA executive board and senate in which he proposed a restructuring of the current system of the executive board.

In the document, Randle proposed that for successive years (1) the chief of staff(s) and executive director would no longer undergo a confirmation process from the senate, (2) the executive, corresponding and recording secretary be eliminated from the executive board and (3) five new secretary positions, assigned to each vice president of the college, would be affixed to the executive board. If the proposal is implemented, the new structure would go into effect during the 2011-2012 academic school year.

While the executive director and chief of staff roles are not defined in the constitution, they are, according to Randle, “purely support roles for the president,” who handles logistical responsibilities. Randle argues that the positions are solely staff positions whose role is to assist the president. They are “not empowered with duty nor authority by the constitution.”

“In terms of [the president’s] personal staff, his advisors, I don’t think it is the proper place for an executive director or chief of staff to actually go through a confirmation process,” Randle said. If the senate was to hypothetically deny the confirmation of a president’s personal staff, Randle says the senate would be “telling the president who will best serve him.”

SGA vice president Tyler Bell strongly disagrees with Randle.

“I’m totally against the proposal,” Bell said. “Just because someone shares your vision doesn’t mean they are able and competent to serve. This leads to cronyism.”

Bell countered Randle’s argument of the executive director and chief of staff not having authority in the SGA. “In essence they are exercising duty and authority,” Bell said. “Especially the way they are being used now. They still represent the SGA and the student body.”

Instead of having the three secretarial positions on the executive board, Randle proposed that a member of the SGA Lux be hired to take the burden off the executive board.  Lux is a logistical branch of the SGA that has been newly implemented this year. Randle believes the role of secretary has been dormant, and that allowing a member of Lux to take on that responsibility will eliminate unneeded space on the executive board.

“This year no one ran for recording secretary,” Randle said. “Last year the recording secretary wasn’t visible. It has been a position that hasn’t been that important in the SGA.

“The role of secretary has nothing to do with decision-making. Tasks they do are purely administrative” the SGA president said.

Derrick Wyche, the current SGA executive secretary, says that when the proposal was presented to him, he understood it was not meant to be taken personally. “I know what I contribute to the board  and I know I am appreciated for what I do,” Wyche said.

“It’s about making the SGA stronger and efficient, I definitely understand.”

However, Wyche is skeptical about Randle’s proposition to do away with the recording, corresponding and executive secretary positions. “The secretary positions that are to be eliminated are three votes that can sway decisions on what the SGA does,” he said.

The most controversial aspect of the proposal is the creation of five new secretaries that are to be appointed as experts and liaisons between the SGA executive board and the vice presidents of academic affairs, campus operations, student services, institutional advancement and information technology.

Bell, who as SGA vice president serves as president of the senate, expressed that the secretary positions proposed by Randle are not necessary because the senate already assigns senators of particular committees to departments such as campus operations, academic affairs and information technology. They report to senate meetings weekly.

Senator Dontavius Taylor, the chairman of constitution and by laws, corroborated with Bell, affirming that the aforementioned is indeed true.

Bell also explained that there’s no need for the proposal because the SGA president already has the authority to appoint such positions.

“In the student handbook there are dozens of committees the president of SGA is supposed to appoint to serve as liaisons between administration and the SGA,” Bell said. “I’m not sure of the purpose behind this document.”

Randle maintains that this document is essential to the SGA’s transition toward “a more perfect form of student governance that will position the student leader to influence the policy and decisions of the college.”

When asked whether or not he was open to revising the proposal, Randle said “No. To be honest, this is a compromised document.”

Randle is confident that this proposal will forever change the way SGA operates.

“The main issue people have at Morehouse is that there is too much red tape; students don’t know how to navigate Gloster Hall because it’s so bureaucratic,” he said. “This is a solution to that.

“Now we don’t have to wait for an administrator to solve our problems. We as student leaders can now start synthesizing our own solutions.”

Gerren K. Gaynor

Managing Editor

gerren.gaynor@gmail.com



About the Author

The Maroon Tiger
Award-winning student news organization of Morehouse College. The organ of student expression since 1925!




 
 

 
 

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