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Student government denies chair


Published (Volume 75, No. 29)


An otherwise routine SGA meeting to open the term of the new administration and Senate had an unexpected turn Thursday night, as the Senate struck down Sen. Kevin Teets’s nomination for Procedures Chair.

In a non-roll call vote, senators accepted, without opposition, all other appointments presented by the Executive Council.

The SGA will meet at 9 p.m. Thursday, May 1 in an emergency session with the purpose of approving a nomination for the vacancy before dismissing for summer break.

Sen. Landon Loveall from the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences said that perhaps the reasoning behind the decision “was a lack of information about how the process for Procedures Chair was to take place.” When asked about the other nominations, Loveall said that he “felt those people were the best ones for the job.”

SGA President Jennifer Ogg declined to comment on the matter until after her Executive Council convenes next Monday.

“SGA is going to do what it can to correct this situation, and we will do what we promised to the students,” said Vice President Beau Pemberton.

Pemberton suggested during the open discussion that the nomination was voted down because of lingering hostility toward Teets about the happenings of the recent SGA elections.

Liz Craig, Assistant to the Vice President, said during the discussion that “if everyone does not back a committee chair, they should not be placed in that position.”

Sen. Beth Anderton commented on the general dissatisfaction with the proceedings of the emergency Procedures Committee meeting on April 8, which may have contributed to the Senate’s denial of Teets for the position.

The committee was to decide whether challenges brought forward by Teets, and separate filings by this newspaper, were to be presented before the full Senate.

“Representation for Mr. Teets was rude at times during the meeting; however, he should not be judged by the behavior of his representative,” Anderton said.

“Representation for my case could have been handled more tactfully,” Teets said. “However, the ability to contest an election is granted by the same process that elects each senator: the democratic process.”

Teets said that he was not contesting whether he would win the election, but on the basis that the elections were mismanaged.

“As an applicant for the chair of Procedures Committee, my intent is to bring about conformity in the bylaws that would solve the problems that have put us in this predicament in the first place.”

The SGA Executive Committee, consisting of the president, vice president and secretary general, will conduct an application and interview session at 5:30 p.m. Monday.

Current senators seeking the position must have their application completed and turned in to the SGA office no later than 3 p.m. Monday.

The Pacer will bring updated information via our web site at pacer.utm.edu as this story continues to develop.

In the remaining chair positions: Dusty Dean, Academic Affairs; Joey Pierce, Campus Observation; Beth Anderton, Communications; Jeff Hall, Minority Affairs.

For the Judicial branch: Nikki Draper, Chief Justice; LeAnn Quinn, Attorney General; D.J. Norton, Student Defender; Jason Rushing, Elections Commissioner.