SA rules committee meets to discuss transparency

The Student Association senate rules committee-elect met to discuss issues of SA transparency Monday in the Marvin Center.

The meeting was sparked by a letter sent by Ben Balter, chair of the committee which oversees student run elections. Balter, a junior, said in his letter that his committee, which worked to ensure a free and fair election for the SA, was held to higher standards than the SA.

“It was general sentiment of the committee that there was a sense of disconnect between the JEC and the senate,” Balter said. “Why should the student voice be held to any less of a standard than committee that elects it?”

Balter said his committee had to make all of their documents public in order for their decisions to hold — something the SA senate did not do this year, he said.

Recipient of the letter, SA senator-elect Nick Polk (U-at-Large), said the senate should use the model the JEC used this year and publish their public documents on the SA Web site to improve transparency.

Fred Girard, a member of the incoming executive cabinet, said the average student would not look at the posted documents.

“Think about the average student,” said Girard, the incoming vice president for judicial and legislative affairs. “Are the really going to use (these documents)?”

Executive Vice President-elect Kyle Boyer disagreed with Girard. He said public documents should be posted online as it is not difficult for senators to do.

SA senator-elect Patrick Hanley (ESIA-U) said the documents should be visible to all students on the Web site.

“I don’t understand why we can’t just get it done,” said Hanley, a freshman.

The rules committee will meet through a conference call over the summer to further discuss ideas for transparency.

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