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Tuesday, May 21, 2024 — Houston, TX

SA calls closed meeting in apparent constitutional violation

By Amber Tong     10/4/16 11:40pm

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.

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