Post Classifieds

USG sens motion 'no confidence'

By Katie Anderson
On May 8, 2013

 

Correction:

In light of new information learned following the publishing of the original version of this story, The Record would like to inform students of some corrections:

According to Chief Justice Edward Bryant, the motion of no confidence was not passed because the Judicial Council found it unconstitutional and in contradiction to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, and thus, declared the motion null and void.

Also, the motion will not be removed from the minutes before President Sara Garfinkle signed off on them. The memo issued by Bryant May 1 stated that after the minutes go through a proofreading process by Garfinkle, vice president Christina Germann and secretary Cindy Sciolino and are approved by the senate, a "writ of injunction will be issued striking the motion from the minutes."

According to Bryant, Speaker Pro-Tempore Andrea Gustafson's statement regarding his "picking fights" is false.

"I have never been convicted by either Judicial Affairs, University Police, or any other state, local or federal agency with regards to fighting (regardless of physical, verbal or otherwise)," Bryant said.

The article also mentioned that Gustafson said that the majority of the senate was on board with the motion because they feel uncomfortable with Bryant. According to Bryant, this statement is also untrue.

Senator Ashleigh-Ann Sutherland said that she agreed with Gustafson's statement and that as a senator, she feels uncomfortable with Bryant.

"Prior to this motion being made, I made basically the same motion to get (the Judicial Council) under investigation and make sure they're not overstepping their boundaries," she said. "I was told personally that I couldn't do it, that it was unconstitutional. So, when I did it by myself, it was shot down easily, but when the entire senate did it, they weren't shot down."

Sutherland also said that she felt there is a lot of "professional conflict" taking place within USG.

"I feel like I'm a good senator. I know the constitution, so for me to be shot down like that, I knew I could fight it. But I was so over the drama behind the scenes."

Original Story:

Conflict within the United Students Government senate meetings continued April 30 as the
senate made a motion of no confidence against Chief Justice Edward Bryant and passed it with
28 "yeas," one "nay" and four senators abstaining.
 
Bryant sent a memo to the USG senate and executive board the following day stating that
the senate could not make a motion of no confidence against the chief justice because by
contradicting Robert's Rules of Order, it does not follow the constitution.
 
"The USG Judicial Council hereby declares a motion of no confidence against Chief Justice
Edward J. Bryant that was passed by a majority vote of the USG senate on 30 April 2013 to
be null and void," Bryant wrote. "The legislative and executive branches cannot propose and
pass motions that are unconstitutional and or contradict Robert's Rules unless the latter is
suspended."
 
Bryant went on to suggest that the motion be removed from the recorded senate minutes.
"Once the minutes are approved, a writ of injunction will be issued, striking the motion from the
minutes," he said.
 
During the senate meetings, Danielle Kane, USG secretary records and types up the minutes.
 
They are then sent to Cindy Sciolino, USG administrative assistant who checks to make sure
all the minutes are typed. From there, they go to President Sara Garfinkle to be proofread and
signed off on. Vice President Christina Germann then does the same before giving them back to
Cindy Sciolino for a final proofread. The senate then votes on the minutes to approve them.
 
Garfinkle said that despite the memo from Bryant, she will not sign off on minutes if the motion
is removed.
 
"I'm not going to remove it," Garfinkle said. "I'm going to sign off on it, as the meeting was on
Tuesday."
 
Speaker Pro Tempore Andrea Gustafson said that in order to pass the motion, they read
Robert's Rules out loud during the meeting from the Robert's Rules website.
 
Rules and regulations chair Miguel Pereira said that the site used at the meeting does not
comply with the revised version of Robert's Rules that is used by the Judicial Council.
 
"You have to cite it from the newest, most current edition of Robert's Rules the book, not a
website," he said.
 
Gustafson said that the majority of the senate was on board with the motion because they feel
uncomfortable with Bryant. She said the senate doesn't feel that he is doing his job by "picking
fights" instead of working together as a unit for the students.
 
"When we're hearing from organizations and fellow students and each other that we're
having the same problem with one person on one board over and over again, we have to do
something," Gustafson said. "I think you'll find that the majority of the conflict will graduate and
that includes me. I'm a graduating senior. I'm part of the conflict because I won't let any branch
of the government trample over mine."
 
Katie Anderson can be reached by email at anderson.record@live.com.

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