Smith Meyers

Former Student Body President Smith Meyers vetoed six bills at the end of his term that had previously been passed. 

Smith Meyers no longer holds the title of Student Body President, but his vetoes live on.

At Tuesday’s Senate meeting, senators were informed that six bills passed previously were vetoed by Meyers at the end of his term in April.

Meyers submitted the vetoes from the Sunday to the Tuesday before he left office, Senate President Danielle Grosse said.

Business on the Senate’s agenda must be submitted to the Replacement & Agenda Standing Committee prior to its weekly meeting, Grosse said. However, Meyers did not submit all the vetoes until after the meeting to write the agenda for the April 24 meeting.

For this reason, the vetoes were not addressed at the last meeting of the Spring semester April 24. Instead, the vetoes were addressed in Tuesday’s meeting, Grosse said.  

Senator Joel Kratt (Inspire, Tolbert), an author to four and a sponsor to one of the six vetoed bills, said he found out about the vetoes an hour before the meeting started.

“I was a little confused by that,”  Senator Joel Kratt (Inspire, Tolbert) said. “Practically the same people who passed the bills the first time — unanimously — had such a change of heart that was unexpected.”

Some of the six bills that were vetoed would have required closed captioning on SG videos released via social media accounts and live stream the annual SG debate. Another bill would have created a 4:30 p.m. deadline for candidate requests to be excused from mandatory candidate meetings.

Other bills would have prohibited supervisors and members of the elections committee from having any previous positions or relationships with any SG party and the use of threat or intimidation to influence voting. Another bill would have allowed party members to campaign in reserved classrooms.

All bills had at least one author or sponsor from both Impact and Inspire.

At Tuesday’s meeting, the Senate was given the option to override Meyers’ vetoes, which would have made the bills become law without the president’s signature.  

Meyers sent letters to Grosse about why he chose to veto these bills. Some of these letters were read aloud at the meeting. These letters were not distributed to the Senate mailing list until the Wednesday following the meeting.  

Some of the reasons Meyers vetoed some of these bills were because of redundancy and lack of flexibility.

Meyers did not respond to several calls made before the print deadline requesting commentary on the vetoes.  

Debate was to take place following a three-minute explanation of the bills by their authors.

Before the debate began, Senator Libby Shaw (Impact, Journalism) asked senators to choose if they wanted to end debate. Over two-thirds of the senators voted in favor of ending it.

Afterwards, Meyers’ vetoes were voted on all at once. The Senate announced in a 45 to 17 vote to uphold the vetoes.

After seeing these actions unfold, Senator Connor Bradley (Independent, Liberal Arts) announced he would disaffiliate from Impact. Bradley said he would be an  Independent senator for the rest of his term.

Bradley said he didn’t believe many senators understood what they were voting for in regards to Meyers’ vetoes because debate was not heard.

“Representing the students should be our first,and only priority,” Bradley said. “If we’re not doing that, by even hearing the legislation that should not have been vetoed this evening, we are not doing our justice as a Student Senate.”

Follow Gillian Sweeney on Twitter @gilliangsweeney and contact her at [email protected].