Bylaws will be bylaws: GUSA elects new vice speaker in tiebreaker
After Ethan Chess‘s (COL ‘14) petition led the Constitutional Council to review the events of Jan. 12 and allow former vice speaker Sam Greco (SFS ‘15) to assume the speakership, GUSA needed a new vice speaker.
After renouncing GUSA’s decision to elect someone besides Greco, stating that the voting process did not follow bylaws, the Council rubbed salt in the wound by attending Sunday night’s meeting to brief the senators on their decision and how to proceed.
Constitutional Council member Josh Shinbrot (COL ‘16) explained that the Senate must provide the Council with a recording of any meeting in which a bylaw dispute occurs, and said the Senate has been in violation of bylaw 2.06d, which states that the Secretary shall be responsible for: “[a]rchiving all Senate minutes, bills, resolutions, reports.”
After enduring the Council’s wrist-slapping, the Senate struck back. Senator Cannon Warren (SFS ‘14) responded to Shinbrot’s bylaw manifesto: “Don’t you feel that some of the rulings are more akin to legislation and that you’re in violation of Article 6 Section 3 of the constitution? That the senate is in charge of governing its own whatevers.”
The tension in Healy 106 among the Senate intensified when Warren motioned for a vote of “no-confidence in the Speaker,” which aimed to remove Greco from the Speakership. Warren reiterated the concern that Greco is planning on leaving the Senate to run a political campaign.
Senator Pat Spagnuolo (SFS ’14) shut down Warren’s motion by calling for a division of the house. For those not versed in Robert’s Rules of Order (who isn’t?) a division of the house requires the majority of the house to vote yes for the motion to pass. Only Senators Seamus Guerin (COL ‘16) and Jimmy Ramirez (COL ‘15) voted in favor of the motion.
After settling these disputes, the Senate continued with the election for vice speaker; Senator Robert Shepard (COL ‘15), Senator Abby McNaughton (COL ‘16), and Ng accepted nominations for the position. McNaughton and Ng tied for first place, requiring a final decision made by the Vice President, according to Article 1 Section 10 from the Constitution.
In an interesting turn of events, Vice President Adam Ramadan (SFS ‘14) was absent from the Hilltop this past Sunday. With a vice president not on campus, the senators were once again stumped.
“Can we skype him?” asked President Nate Tisa (SFS ‘14).
“If telepresence is in the bylaws, then telepresence,” said Spagnuolo.
The Senate ultimately agreed that Ng and McNaughton give a 60-second pitch to Ramadan via Tisa’s cellphone. Senator Billy Bowers (COL ‘16) disagreed with this decision by reminding members that “he [Ramadan] had no idea what he’s voting for. He doesn’t know the candidates.”
In the end, Ramadan preferred Ng’s 60-second pitch to McNaughton’s.
Greco and Ng now stand at the helm of the GUSA speakership after multiple weeks of haranguing and tantrums. And GUSA election season hasn’t even started.