Rice University’s Student Newspaper — Since 1916

Friday, January 27, 2023 — Houston, TX

New deputy treasurer poses no conflict of interest

mauricefrediere

Maurice Frediere is the SA treasurer and a Duncan College junior

By Maurice Frediere     11/2/16 8:00am

As the role of the treasurer has expanded in recent years, the idea of a deputy treasurer has been discussed extensively and the Executive Team and the Student Association Senate determined it would be invaluable for the SA to add a deputy treasurer to allow the organization to function more efficiently. When considering applications, my foremost criterion was to find a candidate who was professional and capable. Ameesh Shah’s experience as treasurer of Rice Program Council and conduct during his interview proved he was the ideal student to fill the role.

The Thresher brought up the issue of a potential conflict of interest in their editorial last week. While their concern is reasonable the SA Constitution also specifies the president shall seek to eliminate any “reasonable appearance” of a conflict of interest. A reasonable appearance should be based on a well-informed understanding of what the deputy treasurer does and what would constitute a conflict of interest. While Ameesh’s positions as treasurer of RPC may seem to create a conflict of interest, in reality there is no time where his joint holding of both positions will imperil his ability to do both jobs effectively. The deputy treasurer will be involved in the creation and management of the SA budget, sit on the Blanket Tax Committee as a nonvoting member and aid the treasurer in performing tasks such as getting food for SA Senate meetings. Therefore, Ameesh would only encounter a conflict of interest while serving on the Blanket Tax Committee. However, my standard for the deputy treasurer will be the same as for the rest of the committee in that they recuse themselves when we discuss an organization in which they are directly involved in as an officer or active member. This standard, as laid out in the SA Constitution in section X.B.6.f., will prevent even the appearance of a conflict of interest.

While I understand the Thresher’s concern about the creation of a “leadership pipeline”, my goal is not to feed into or dismantle such a system. My foremost concern was picking the candidate best-suited to aid the Student Association immediately. Ameesh’s experience and professionalism made him a clear choice for the position. In addition, I offered three of the candidates who were not selected the opportunity to serve on the Student Activities President’s Programming committee to give them another avenue to get involved in campus decision making. It’s important to make clear that leadership isn’t a quality distinguished by title or position but by action. Any student with a vision or plan to improve our campus will be supported and empowered by the SA to be a leader. The ability of the Student Association to empower and represent students effectively is however predicated on a well-run and effective executive branch. The Senate approved Ameesh to serve as deputy treasurer after they understood how qualified and competent of a candidate he is and we look forward to welcoming to him to our team.





More from The Rice Thresher

OPINION 1/24/23 10:14pm
Rice should allow more than 8% of graduate students to eat at campus serveries

Everyday, many graduate students are struggling with meals, because Rice offers very limited on-campus servery dining opportunities for them. Many students have expressed concern over this policy including Yajie Liu, a bioengineering Ph.D. student. Her day is filled with coursework, research and mentoring undergraduates in the lab. Though Yajie is on campus from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day, she enjoys her busy life. This semester, she applied for the graduate meal plan but failed to get selected. She is very disappointed and has to spend extra time and effort preparing affordable meals herself. The on-campus graduate meal plan is very important to student life, Ph.D. students in particular. Rice should expand the on-campus meal plans to cater to the demand of increasing graduate students.  

OPINION 1/24/23 10:13pm
Bring Sunday brunch back to campus

At the very first Editorial Board meeting of this school year, the seniors on our board got on our high horses to inform the Rice community of the way things used to be done vis-a-vis selling tickets to public parties. We’ve held our tongues since then, as we can appreciate that circumstances change and growth is good. But the time has come for us to speak again, this time in support of resurrecting the greatest of all pre-COVID traditions: Sunday brunch.

OPINION 1/17/23 11:49pm
The RMC needs to reread their mission statement

We reported at the end of last week that popular late-night food spots YoYo’s Hot Dog and Oh My Gogi are being forced out of Rice Village by the end of the month. Justifiably, Rice students and the local community were outraged — a petition to the Rice Management Company titled “Save Yoyos and Oh My Gogi” has over 4,500 signatures as of publication.


Comments

Please note All comments are eligible for publication by The Rice Thresher.