Senators split on releasing SGA documentsBy Matt Mecoli | 10/10/2011 11:10pm
Though the Student Government Association Senate resolution requesting that UA administrators release records surrounding former SGA President Grant Cochran’s resignation was tabled by the Senate last week, the resolution’s authors still say the issue is important.
“I wrote the resolution to make it known that that’s not what the SGA or the Senate is about,” said Senator Brad Tipper, author of the resolution. “The resolution is about regaining confidence. We don’t want that image of a corrupt and hidden body.”
Senator Daniel Bruno, one of the resolution’s three sponsors, agreed.
“UA has been looking for some transparency from its student government for a while,” Bruno said. “Over the past year or two, transparency has been making strides. It is coming about, but all the events recently with potential corruption and resignations are clouding the transparency we’ve been working to bring about. This resolution was written to combat that.”
To some, the tabling of the resolution might seem a defeat. But those involved with the resolution had different goals.
“It doesn’t matter as much if it passed; so long as we had constructive discussion…it’s more about the process than the product,” said Senator Elliot Bell, another sponsor of the resolution.
The tabling of the resolution, the sponsors said, was not entirely unexpected.
“I was expecting that it would most likely be tabled in committee,” Tipper said. “It’s not so much about whether it passed or not. We wanted to get out there that the SGA Senate is concerned about this issue so that we could attempt to bring about more unity in the divide between the SGA and the student body. And I think in that we succeeded.”
Tipper said he understands the concerns of Austin Gaddis, Senate communications director, who suggested at the Senate meeting last Thursday that Tipper’s resolution would be bad PR. Bruno, however, took issue with Gaddis’ comments.
“I wholeheartedly disagree with Gaddis’ statement about bad PR,” Bruno said. “I think the student body wants to see us act. I think what Gaddis means is it would be bad for the Senate’s relationship with the University administration. In terms of students though, it would be good PR and it would foster a good relationship between the SGA and the student body.’
As the discussion continues, Tipper said he expects ethics reforms and a bill of rights for student organizations to come in the near future.