By Phillip Lentsch–
Multiple disagreements were aired during the U of L SGA Senate meeting on April 5, particularly when discussing the motion for a student vote of no-confidence in U of L President James Ramsey.
While several important items were on the agenda – including the creation of a permanent SAC committee and updates on the library renovations – the meeting was mainly focused around the motion brought forth by the SGA Executive Board on Ramsey’s leadership. Towards the meeting’s conclusion, senators debated the wording of the resolution, specifically around Ramsey’s “unilateral” decision to impose the postseason ban on U of L’s men’s basketball team and his approach to student diversity on campus.
One of the amendments in the resolution that centered around the postseason ban met heavy controversy within the senate, and was eventually struck down. Femmy Rose, a graduate student council representative, felt as though the amendment was needed.
“There needs to be something in this resolution that holds the president accountable in his role with the athletic department,” Rose said. “I don’t think it’s right to completely ignore this part of the resolution.”
Other senators felt including the postseason ban amendment only complicated things. Several members pointed out that they hadn’t received enough information on Ramsey’s involvement with the recruitment scandal and the ban in order to include it in the resolution.
“I think attributing the postseason ban on Ramsey is only playing into the cultural phenomenon of finding a scapegoat for anything that goes on,” one student senator said.
Other disagreements connected to the resolution were expressed as well. Caitlin Kidd, a student representative for the College of Business, felt as though the use of Survey Monkey to poll students on Ramsey’s leadership wasn’t representative of the student voice. Monali Haldankar, former SGA President, agreed, stating student responses on Survey Monkey could be replicated numerous times, which would skew the results.
“I think that the concerns with Survey Monkey are legitimate,” Andrew Monell, A&S President, said. “We can’t do anything about the students that don’t vote, but we should create a ballot on Ulink that’s more uniform for all student departments.”
These sentiments were met with some criticism. One student representative from U of L’s Medical School mentioned the poll she sent out to her constituents received a 55 percent response rate, which she felt was as good as she could get.
“Getting nearly a 60 percent response rate from my students – when they’re working at hospitals across the state and studying for exams – is substantial. I don’t want them re-polled,” a medical school representative said.
“I just want to point out that our student council presidents had a full week to poll their constituents, and the fact that we’re having to debate resending it is a waste of time,” Rachel Dalton, a law school representative said.
Multiple U of L schools and departments – including the College of Education, the College of Business and the Graduate School – haven’t polled their constituents for multiple reasons. While many senators felt as though it was the responsibility of the student council presidents to bring forth poll responses, several members felt as though they couldn’t accurately speak on behalf of their schools.
SGA voted to give executive board 48 hours to create a uniform poll on Ulink, which will close to student responses at noon on April 12. Additionally, they voted to send the act back to executive board for further revision.
After three hours in meeting, some were unpleased with how little the act itself was discussed. Monell was one, saying they spent two hours discussing polling and only changed one or two things.
The revised act will be discussed at the next senate meeting April 12.
Photos by Roya Fathalizadeh / The Louisville Cardinal