SGA Senate votes to end resolution supporting Greek system integrationBy Mark Hammontree | 03/20/2014 11:41pm
At the final session of the 2013-14 SGA Senate, a proposed resolution in support for full integration of the University of Alabama Greek system was sent to committee instead of receiving a vote. As a result, the resolution died with the end of the Senate’s term.
Katie Smith, the lead sponsor and author of Resolution #R-54, introduced the resolution to the floor, but per Senate rules, a period of technical questions followed, Chisholm Allenlundy, another sponsor of the resolution, said.
Allenlundy said that following the technical questions period, a senator moved for the resolution to be sent to committee. At the beginning of the meeting, Speaker of the Senate Cole Adams informed the senators that any legislation or resolutions that were not voted on would die because the next meeting of the Senate would be of the 2014-15 Senate.
“It was voted on tonight because this was our last senate meeting of the year,” Smith said. “Technically, my term of office is over. The speaker of the senate even said that since it is the last meeting, it will either pass or it won't. Nothing will carry over to the next term. If we wanted to pass something tonight, we had to make a motion for immediate consideration.”
Allenlundy said that before the resolution could be considered for a vote or even debated, a senator moved for it to be sent to committee.
“When the technical questions phase came to a close, one of the senators asked, or made a motion, that the resolution be sent to committee knowing well that it would die in committee,” Allenlundy said. “That was followed by a little more debate, and then a roll call vote was held where – I don’t remember the exact count, but I know it was pretty overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution going to committee. So it died there.”
Of the senators in attendance, 27 senators voted yes to keep the bill from being voted on, 5 no, and 2 voted present.
Allenlundy said he thinks the resolution failed to pass because some of the Greek senators may have felt the wording was unfairly critical of the Greek system.
“I think ultimately the reason that it failed to pass was it gave the impression, I think maybe, that – to a lot of the senators – that maybe we were attempting to disparage the Greek community, you know, which wasn’t the case,” Allenlundy said. “Ultimately, the resolution was to just encourage further integration based on diversity, specifically racial diversity on our campus, which I think a lot of people would agree with.”
Allenlundy said he understands the hesitancy to pass such a resolution because people are divided over the issue of Greek integration, but he is disappointed because the resolution was never even brought to a vote or formally debated.
“Obviously, I would have liked to have seen it pass. I think it was important, more than anything, because of how quiet the Student Government Association has been on this whole issue throughout the year,” Allenlundy said. “Very few public comments were made on the part of the Student Government Association, and I think that sort of point to the larger cultural silence that our campus sometimes does sort of espouse, I suppose. More than anything that was just an effort to give the SGA a voice on this matter, and it was declined.”
The resolution can be rewritten and reintroduced during the next Senate’s term, which will begin after spring break, but the resolution that Smith introduced died with the vote to send it to committee.
“I think that this reflects our SGA poorly but also accurately,” Smith said. “I am not surprised. I don't believe that I put anyone in a catch-22. They chose to vote on it and they chose to vote it down.”
Chandler Wright contributed to this report.