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Hunter campaign violations among items discussed during latest Senate meeting

Caroline Japal

Caroline Japal

Will Jones

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Thursday’s Senate meeting once again featured discussion of Senator Mike Smith’s resolution calling on the University to release records pertaining to the investigation into SGA President Jared Hunter and the results of that investigation. Smith’s resolution was the first item of business, and when it was brought up for debate, Senator Harrison Adams defended Hunter, saying he may have signed away his FERPA rights under “duress.” The form Hunter signed waiving those rights is required of all candidates running for SGA office. 

After debate, Smith’s resolution was voted down.

Following discussion of the resolution, Senate also discussed Smith’s Act A-05 to “adopt open textbooks.” The act would direct the SGA vice president of academic affairs to create a committee to work with the University’s Office for Academic Affairs. According to the act, this committee would “focus on starting an initiative to adopt peer-reviewed open textbooks.

However, Senator Brandon Greenberg raised objections to the current format of the act, saying it should instead be a resolution. One of the objections Greenberg raised was the necessity for the Board of Trustees, the University’s president and the provost to be on board for open textbooks to succeed.

Ultimately, Smith’s act was recommitted to the Academic Affairs Committee for the purpose of changing the act to a resolution.

After the meeting, Smith, a junior economics major, said he knew from the beginning that the resolution pertaining to the investigation into SGA President Hunter would be difficult to pass. Smith also expressed his dismay with members of the Senate who campaign on transparency but in reality do not care about it.

“This is an instance that we have as a Student Government Association to promote transparency in the highest form and we shirked our responsibilities and that’s what’s happened today,” Smith said.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox will speak at the Senate meeting next Thursday.

Order of Events:

1. Resolution R-03 reintroduced, failed to pass. 

2. Act A-05 reintroduced, recommitted to the Academic Affairs Committee to be turned into a resolution.

3. Bill B-03 to “improve procedural integrity” by allowing most resolutions to be immediately considered during meetings reintroduced, passed.

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Hunter campaign violations among items discussed during latest Senate meeting