SA committee withholds special report to avoid ‘political stunt’ during campaigns

Sen. Chris Stillwell, ESIA-U, has led a special committee on student representation on the Board of Trustees for four months, but said the findings would not be released publicly until after the elections. Sam Johnson | Hatchet Photographer
Sen. Chris Stillwell, ESIA-U, has led a special committee on student representation on the Board of Trustees for four months, but said the findings would not be released publicly until after the elections.
Sam Johnson | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet reporter Lucas Kuo

The Student Association committee that spent four months researching the possibility of a student representative on the University’s top governing body announced Monday that it would not publicly release the report.

The Committee on Special Representation, which formed in November to lay the groundwork for a campaign to add student members to the Board of Trustees, will share its 35-page report with trustees, but keep it out of the hands of students, its chair, Chris Stillwell, ESIA-U, told the Senate.

Stillwell said the committee did not want the report to become a “political stunt” for the members campaigning for next year’s SA leadership positions.

“We felt that during this political season that it would detract from the academic nature of the report and the report wouldn’t be done justice,” said Stillwell, who is running for executive vice president.

The committee had originally planned to present the report at the Jan. 27 meeting of the SA Senate. But that meeting was cancelled for reasons that Executive Vice President Kostas Skordalos said were “nothing of note.”

The committee had already missed its Feb. 1 deadline, which it set in November to align with the semi-annual Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 7.

SA President Julia Susuni, who is allowed to present for about five minutes to the full Board, did not mention the report during the open session.

The committee hopes the report will kick up discussions between the Board and its members, Stillwell said.

The SA spent two years lobbying for a student member in 2005, but the organization’s then-president Lamar Thorpe halted the effort because he said senators spent too much time infighting to be taken seriously. About 60 other schools had student board members then

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