Questions of credibility were raised at the student senate meeting Monday night. Various senate positions were brought into question, including the newly appointed sophomore seat, filled by Larry Ferguson at the Sept. 13 meeting.
Ferguson was brought before the senate for confirmation along with Maurice Slade at the Sept. 13 meeting, though Slade received a higher score of 40 (as opposed to Ferguson’s 39.3). Sophomore Sen. Candice Elliott, the Elections and Appointments Chairwoman, said the issue involves integrity.
“Two senators gave Larry a perfect score, while one gave him a low score which wasn’t even favorable,” she said. “I moved to waive the rule (4.6) so no one’s integrity was questioned. It doesn’t hurt either candidate, and I was correct because the senate decided something else.”
The senator who did not give Ferguson a favorable score was Junior Sen. Torey Alston, who also serves on the E&A committee, who said he was the only one present for all of the candidates’ interviews. Alston did give Slade a perfect score of 45, citing on Slade’s score sheet that he was “very knowledgeable of the document” while on Ferguson’s score sheet, he was just “average.”
Alston said he purposely made these comments on the score sheet so integrity would not be questioned at any point.
“These comments are snapshots of how I voted at the time,” Alston said.
Alston said his main concern is for the rules and the precedents of the senate.
“Our two most tenured senators, Mike (Morton) and Chelsea (Hall) were not present last week to talk to us about precedent.” Alston explained the two senior senators were absent because Morton has a class conflict and Hall had a personal matter to attend to that evening.
However, Hall was present at Monday’s meeting, and she had questions about precedent for Elliott. The two had an exchange during the meeting as to what the rationale was and if this will be a new standard, to which Elliott replied it would continue to be common practice to find one favorable candidate for confirmation.
Junior Sen. Tara Crawford, another E&A member, made a senate appeal regarding the appointment.
Chief Justice Jason Hurst came to the meeting to address the appeal, saying he hoped the judicial branch could reach a decision before the end of the senate meeting. It did not, but it did nearly two hours later.
“We could not come to an accurate decision,” Hurst said. “We will have an arbitration (formal meeting) with the entire E&A committee, Ramon (Alexander, Senate President) and Jessica (Larche, Senate President Pro-Tempore) in the next 48 hours. If we can’t come to a conclusion then, we will have to go to trial.”
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