In the last Student Senate meeting of the Spring semester, senators sparked a controversial debate before approving the Student Government executive branch position recommendations.
Although three senators spoke during the con portion of the debate, only Sen. Michael Christ voted in opposition to the recommendations.
During the con portion of debate, Sen. Jessica Sullivan and another female senator spoke about the lack of women who had been recommended as agency heads for the executive positions.
Christ voiced his opposition for the Accent Speaker’s Bureau and Student Government Productions agency heads.
Christ said he doesn’t doubt the qualifications of the three candidates recommended but said people are bred for these jobs.
“(There are) certain groups on campus that are groomed for these positions. It’s not my opinion. It’s a fact if you do your own research,” he said. “Senate can be intellectually honest with themselves — there’s something there when only one person applies for one of the top five most important positions in the Student Government.”
Christ also said he didn’t agree with the decision to recommend two candidates to co-chair the SGP position.
He said SG was a “wide enigma” to students and didn’t feel it was accessible enough.
Sen. Leah Miller spoke during the pro portion of debate and commented on the three candidates’ qualifications for each position.
“The people who are up for Accent and SGP have a serious background in both of those agencies,” she said. “It’s bewildering to me that we are questioning that.”
In response to the application accessibility, Sen. Austin Sherman said the positions were open to all students.
He said the positions were well-advertised through emails, publication and website availability.
“Thousands of students were reached with these applications,” he said. “I don’t think I need to speak anymore on Accent and SGP because if you read the resumes and you’ve met the people, they’re undoubtedly qualified. There was ample opportunity to apply. Regards to the number of applicants, I don’t think that’s the best argument because these people care enough to apply.”
Student Body President Cory Yeffet, who aided in compiling the list of executive position candidates, said the lack of accessibility to SG was “nonexistent” and that he approved of every recommendation.
“I assure each of you that all 100 percent of these nominations are going to do an incredible job for this Student Body,” he said.
Two of the recommended candidates — Michael High for athletics and recreation executive secretary and Destiny Goede for Greek affairs cabinet director — were stricken from the recommendations list before senators voted.
Senate President Dylan Fisher said the candidates contacted the executive board, and due to personal reasons, were unable to accept their recommendations.
In addition to the executive branch approval, senators approved a resolution honoring the victims of the Fort Hood shooting as well as funding for the Graduate Student Council Welcome Week Events and a Ramadan lecture series.
[A version of this story ran on page 8 on 4/23/2014 under the headline "Senate approves Accent, SGP executive positions after debate"]
Cory Yeffet speaks about the Student Government executive branch recommendations during a Student Senate meeting on April 22, 2014.