SA calls closed meeting in apparent constitutional violation
Student Association President Griffin Thomas called a closed session, in apparent violation of the SA Constitution, at the end of the Senate meeting on Monday.
The constitution states that “[by] a two-thirds vote, the Senate may hold a closed meeting to discuss matters requiring unusual privacy.” The Senate, however, did not hold such a vote on Monday.
According to Thomas, a Lovett College senior, in the meeting he expressed his disappointment at the lack of rigorous debates regarding Resolution #2, which concerns student feedback on the implementation of security cameras, especially when compared to other conversations such as the debate regarding the health professions task force.
“I think that these types of introspective, self-evaluative conversations are generally better received in private,” Thomas said.
Thomas said he misinterpreted the Constitution’s requirements for closed meetings and said the SA is working to make the document more conducive to student government.
“The SA Constitution is 111 pages long and it is sometime difficult for us to make necessary immediate judgments,” he said. “This is of course not to make an excuse for the oversight, but to say we understand the mistake and are making strides to correct it.”
In the same Senate meeting, McMurtry College sophomore Alejandra Gutierrez was appointed as the deputy parliamentarian. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner planned to speak during the meeting, but was forced to cancel due to an emergency.
More from The Rice Thresher
Amy Dittmar, the senior vice provost for academic and budgetary affairs and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan, has been selected as Rice’s new provost, incoming president Reginald DesRoches announced Thursday. DesRoches, the current provost, will become Rice’s president on July 1, and Dittmar will start August 1.
The 109th Convocation ceremony was held in person this past Friday night, with no restrictions on attendance. Hundreds of class of 2022 Rice undergraduates passed under the Sallyport before meeting at Rice football stadium for the ceremony.
The Student Association executive board drafted a formal complaint against the Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship to present to University Court for violation of the SA Constitution nondiscrimination policy that every Rice organization is required to adhere to. This complaint comes in light of the recently published Thresher article, where several students shared their experience with discrimation within the club on the basis of sexual orientation.