April 11, 2016

Editorial: SGA Senate fails constituency in lead-up to vote of no-confidence


By Louisville Cardinal Staff–

As students at U of L, we are all members of the Student Government Association. Our governing body was tasked with the responsibility this week to vote on a resolution of no-confidence in President James Ramsey, proposed by SGA’s Executive Board on March 30.

But at the meeting on April 5, our SGA Senate let us down. They demonstrated how unprepared they were to call for a vote on the resolution. While this staff appreciates the SGA Senate’s commitment to generating an accurate poll to gauge constituent opinions, they were unprepared to do so.

On March 8, the board of trustees moved to have a vote of no-confidence in President James Ramsey at their upcoming April 20 meeting. SGA needed put their energy into finding an accurate and uniform polling method to reach the student population weeks ago, instead of a mere week before the bi-monthly Senate meeting.

SGA President Victoria Allen, who sits on the board of trustees, is the only voting member on the board that directly represents our needs. An accurate method of talking to constituents is essential to Allen’s vote on April 20.

However, the SGA executive and legislative branches remained silent until March 29. Senate Speaker Brandon McRenyolds told The Cardinal that a uniform survey would be created, and it would be the responsibility of each college to distribute it to their constituents.

But the SurveyMonkey poll proved to be controversial. Former President Monali Haldankar, who acted as a proxy at the Senate meeting, pointed out that a student could cast multiple votes through SurveyMonkey.

Three colleges — Business, Education and the Graduate School — decided not to poll their constituents. This is not only inexcusable, but also disregards the spirit of the SGA Constitution. Section 5.7.5 states that a student senator must “seek views and inputs of their student constituents.”

Even though the 2015-2016 SGA only received votes from eight percent of the student body, it is the responsibility of the Senate to be our representative and vote on our behalf at Senate meetings. We needed our SGA Senate to have a constructive conversation about President James Ramsey’s leadership on Tuesday night, not an argument about the merits of SurveyMonkey.

SGA had 35 days between March 8 and April 5 to create an accurate survey. We hope that SGA remembers on April 12, when the results from a uniform Ulink survey will be discussed, that we are putting our trust in them to represent us at the April 20 board of trustees meeting.

If SGA cares, as their slogan boasts, then they need to value student time and feedback.

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