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Parliamentarian Smith avoids removal from executive board

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SRSGA parliamentarian Brennan Smith pleads his case in front of his fellow senators to stay on the executive board.

SRSGA parliamentarian Brennan Smith pleads his case in front of his fellow senators to stay on the executive board.

Adam Zook

Adam Zook

SRSGA parliamentarian Brennan Smith pleads his case in front of his fellow senators to stay on the executive board.

Adam Zook, Assistant News Editor

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The Slippery Rock Student Government Association voted Tuesday night to not remove Brennan Smith from his executive position of parliamentarian despite a failure to log his office hours this semester.

Parliamentarian Smith had failed to meet the required number of five office hours per week. In the first seven weeks of the 2018 spring semester, Smith had logged only one total hour of the required 35 hours.

“I can’t remember the last time I was this nervous to speak,” Smith said during his appeal to his fellow senators. “This is a brutal irony since I’m the one in charge of the policy and the constitution of the organization that is bringing these charges against me.”

Parliamentarian Smith repeatedly acknowledged that he did not fulfill his duties when it came to completing and logging his office hours.

He implored his fellow senators to value him not based on the hours he had logged, but on his accomplishments and value as an individual.

Although critical of his own actions, Smith also expressed that while he was somewhat remorseful of his actions, he would change very little moving forward regarding the way he served as parliamentarian up until this point.

“I did not adhere to the policy as stated, but I feel as though my actions led to no collateral damage. If this violation is enough to get rid of me, then so be it.”

There was much debate following Smith’s appeal to the senate. Twice, votes were approved to extend the amount of time that was available for discussion as senators offered both their praise and condemnation of Smith.

Vice President of Student and Academic Affairs Scott Vogelgesang passionately came to Smith’s defense, arguing that he was too integral a part of the organization to remove.

“It’s pretty obvious that Brennan has been a huge help in creating the new position of VP of Diversity and Inclusion,” Vogelgesang said. “It’s also apparent that he’s been very educational in explaining parliamentary procedure. He has elevated his position to a new level that SGA hasn’t seen in years. Yes, he may not have been in the office while he was working, but I don’t believe simply being in the office defines how well Brennan has done his job.”

Riley Keffer, Vice President of Finance, expressed some reservations about choosing not to punish Brennan for failing to complete his duties. Keffer feared this might set an unhealthy precedent for the future of SGA.

“For me, it’s very difficult because Brennan and I are personally close. I recognize the value of an individual’s work, but at the same time its important to hold ourselves to an accountable standard,” Keffer said. “If we can’t believe in what we write and hold people accountable for their actions, what’s stopping me from not fulfilling my duties in the future?”

The two-thirds vote required to remove Smith from his position was not achieved, allowing him to retain the title of parliamentarian. A final tally of the votes was requested but was not provided at the discretion of SGA President Rachel Lawler.

Five new clubs and organizations were recognized by SGA Tuesday night. Rock Powerlifting Club, Enable, Love Your Melon, Medlife, and Mindfulness and Meditation Club will all receive SGA funding and be held to the standards of any other club on campus.

An amendment was also made to the finance policy in regards to Greek organizations on campus. Fraternities and Sororities will now receive funding and be held to the same standards of all other clubs on campus.

SRSGA dealt out a total of $22,929.10 Tuesday night in the form of Conference Grants, Capital Budget Requests and New Initiative Requests. All financial motions were voted on at once as opposed to individually by SGA. This decision was made in order to save time for the discussion regarding the status of Smith as parliamentarian.

The next formal SGA meeting will take place on Monday, April 2 at 8:45 in the Smith Student Center Theater.

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Parliamentarian Smith avoids removal from executive board