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Three alumni join Board of Trustees
By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

SA president appoints students to Faculty Senate committees without senate approval

Donna Armstrong | Contributing Photo Editor
SA President Ashley Le included a first-year experience course in her platform for the SA’s top post last spring. Freshmen received a survey Monday gauging the need for the proposed mandatory class.

Student Association President Ashley Le appointed eight students, including herself, to serve on Faculty Senate committees last month without the SA Senate’s approval of her nominations – a process required under the SA bylaws.

Several senators brought the violation to light at a biweekly SA Senate meeting Monday, asking Le whether she was aware that she needed senate approval to appoint the students and whether she thought she was the best person to serve on one of the committees.

Le said she did not know that she was required to submit nominations to the senate until Monday, when Ojani Walthrust, the SA’s executive vice president, asked her when she planned to announce her picks. She also justified nominating herself, saying it is typically recommended that the president of the SA serves on the educational policy committee.

Le said that because none of the Faculty Senate committees have begun meeting yet, she plans to submit nominations to be approved at the next SA Senate meeting on Oct. 29.

“It was my fault for sure, but for everyone, it fell off their radar,” Le said in an interview. “But none of us know to look at the bylaws.”

Walthrust said he was “disappointed” that Le failed to bring the nominations before the senate because the act was exemplary of a lack of communication between him and the president.

He said “appointing yourself” to serve on a Faculty Senate committee without notifying other leadership is a “huge” decision that senators did not have any say in.

“There are a lot of people who worked so hard last year, like the vice president of academic affairs, for that position and unfortunately, they are not serving on that committee, which I think is not right,” he said.

Sen. Anisha Hindocha, Law-G and the senate pro-tempore, questioned Le during the meeting and asked whether she knew committee nominations had been submitted to the senate by this time last year. Le responded that she did.

In an interview, Hindocha said Le “should know” the SA bylaws and be able to communicate with the SA about appointments.

Hindocha said she was unaware of the violation until Walthrust told her Monday that a string of positions Le appointed had gone unnoticed by the senate for the past month.

“She just said, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t know,’” she said. “That is a problem to me because in a court of law, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.”

Sen. AJ Link, Law-G, who also questioned Le, said that by failing to submit nominations to the senate for approval, Le is operating outside of her jurisdiction. He added that because the appointment process was not executed properly, the students currently serving on the committees are wrongly participating.

The SA Senate could vote down some of Le’s picks in two weeks, forcing them to relinquish their spots.

Link said the bylaw violation is part of a larger issue surrounding a lack of communication between the senate and executive branch of the SA. He said he would be “more than happy” to censure Le if she or other members of the executive branch continue to violate bylaws.

“There needs to be disciplinary action – you can’t just do whatever the fuck you want without consequences,” Link said.

Meredith Roaten and Dani Grace contributed reporting.

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