Senators voice concern about VP’s letter

Several members of the Student Government Association (SGA) expressed disappointment in its executive board days after an editorial submission decrying a recent “lack of responsibility” was printed in The News last week.

The specific target of their ire was Vice President for Administration and Public Relations Krystal Beaulieu, who submitted a letter calling on students to hold their senators accountable.

“With the high number of new senators … I am concerned that too many senators have yet to understand exactly how to do their job,” Beaulieu wrote.

As some senators voiced concern about her lack of confidence in them, Beaulieu said the purpose of her letter was to charge students to become involved in the issues before the senate.

“Much like the U.S. government, our student government cannot function without direct communication,” she said at the meeting.

Beaulieu said she also sent the letter in response to the lack of progress SGA made at its Joint Senate meeting Nov. 29, which, less than three hours in, did not meet quorum and ultimately could not conduct business.

In response to the letter, Senator Grant Oberg addressed the Senate, saying Beaulieu had failed to maintain strong public relations with the move.

“Free press is important if we have direct elections,” he said. “It is their job to call us out if we do something wrong, and it is your job to get The News to help us get a better image.”

Beaulieu said she chose to voice her opinion in the editorial pages as a pre-emptive strike against poor opinion.

“Let’s look at our mistakes and move on as an organization,” she said. “There’s always room for improvement.”

As it was the last Senate of the semester, President Rogan O’Handley led executive board members as the group evaluated the association’s accomplishments for the fall semester and goals for the road ahead.

The meeting also featured a guest speaker. Valerie Randall-Lee, director of the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution (OSCCR), spoke about her position’s responsibilites regarding student concuct.

After providing a brief description of her everyday tasks, Randall-Lee opened the floor for questions from the audience.

Many of the questions concerned the consequences of students being held responsible for alcohol possession and potential reasons for expulsion.

Randall-Lee shared a statistic which surprised many of the senators. She said last year, out of the 921 people reported to OSCCR for alcohol consumption and possession, only 428 were ultimately found responsible.

Randall-Lee also said sexual assault does not constitute grounds for expulsion, and made a point to clearly differentiate between sexual assault and rape.

“We are not a court of law, we are an educational institution,” she said. “We want to teach the students that as adults, they need to be responsible for the choices they make.”

O’Handley also announced that the spring Joint Senate meeting is set for Jan. 22.

Leave a Reply