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Nomination rejected for third time: SGA Senate votes down Allenlundy for position

TJ Parks

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“This is our third time trying this out, but it looks like three is my lucky number, so we’ll see how it goes,” President Elliot Spillers said prior to the vote.

Monday’s vote marked the third time the Senate has denied Spillers’ chief of staff nomination. Allenlundy was rejected by a vote of 32-13 on Tuesday, April 7, and Douglas Logan was rejected by a vote of 25-12 Tuesday, April 14.

There were no speeches of negation Monday evening. Previous reasons for rejecting Allenlundy’s nomination included an assertion he lacked SGA experience. However, Brennan Johnson, who served as chief of staff under SGA Presidents Matt Calderone and Jimmy Taylor, did not have any executive experience in SGA before his appointment. Because the Senate rejected another nomination, they will be required to submit an explanation to the Student Judiciary for a panel review, as set forth in a judiciary order signed April 18.

The order states the Senate will be required to “submit a suitable and detailed explanation of all the reasons as to why the candidate(s) were rejected and would be unfit to serve as the SGA Chief of Staff.” The six associate justices included in the decision will then decide whether or not the Senate’s justification is sufficient. The justices will then “release this decision along with the Senate’s explanation for the rejection to the student body.”

The chief justice suggested conducting voting by secret ballot, but Speaker of the Senate Jackson Britton conducted the voting openly under regular parliamentary procedure.

“It was suggested by the chief justice to conduct voting by a secret ballot, but under regular parliamentary procedure, it has to be conducted openly under Robert’s rules,” Britton said. “It was not my decision to ignore the suggestion of the chief justice. If the motion for a secret ballot was made, I would have entertained it.”

After the vote, Senator Dalton Beasley said the vote was null because the Senate did not display the vote on a television screen, a condition of voting which the senate approved last week.

Britton said that the vote still held effect because Spillers still had not signed the bill requiring the display of votes. 

The bill had not been signed because Secretary of the Senate Marissa Turk had not yet given any of the legislation passed by the Senate to Spillers, Beasley said.

Senator Reid Ruggles voted to confirm Allenlundy as chief of staff.

“Our job is to examine the candidate and determine whether or not he can fulfill the duties of the office,” Ruggles said. “As a friend of mine said, ‘Whether or not there are more qualified candidates is irrelevant, as long as he is appropriately equipped to not only do the job, but be able to get along with the president.’”

Britton said that when he and Elliot met, there were four candidates being considered for the chief of staff position. If the Senate had voted on any of the other four candidates tonight, the Senate most likely would have confirmed them, Britton said. Britton voted against confirming Allenlundy.

“The Senate has already entertained the nomination of Chisolm Allenlundy for chief of staff,” Britton said. “Originally he was voted down for inexperience and he has not gained any experience since the last session. It would be wrong to cave to political pressure.”

Senator Alex Smith abstained from the vote.

“I feel that it’s time that all the senators put their differences aside. The SGA is at a standstill right now and absolutely nothing is getting accomplished,” Smith said. “It’s time to work with the president that our student body selected.”

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Nomination rejected for third time: SGA Senate votes down Allenlundy for position