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SGA forms review committee in response to bylaws allegations

Some Student Government Association senators are crying foul about new leadership playing fast and loose with the organization’s constitution.

SGA Treasurer Tony Grettenberger will form a review committee in response to formal complaints about Senate appointments and executive council actions in the first week of Justin Gawronski and Anna Dvorak’s administration.

According to the complaints, the elections in the Senate were in violation of Bylaw Article II Section 1, which in part states, “A Senate seat that becomes vacant shall be filled by the General Board.” By moving forward on Senate appointments without the General Board, the complaints allege the Gawronski administration has effectively negated the House.

The review committee, will, according to the SGA Bylaw Article V Section 5, have the power to interpret the constitution and bylaws of the SGA and review the constitutionality of recent actions taken by SGA President Gawronski and Vice President Dvorak. Review committees can only be formed after the submission of three formal written complaints by members of the SGA.

The committee would normally be composed of the treasurer, two senators and two House representatives randomly chosen by the House and a representative of the Office of Student Life. Grettenberger, a Lansing senior, said he will abstain from taking part in the committee because of personal bias toward the administration.

The complaints were made by SGA senators Whitney Smith, a Northville senior, William Joseph, a Brighton junior, and House Representative Nick Kastros, a Saginaw senior. They submitted the complaints to Grettenberger, in regard to seven new senators assigned by the Senate Monday night. Those candidates, approved by majority vote by the Senate, have yet to be confirmed by the General Board, composed of the Senate, the House and the Executive branch.

The potential senators will stand for confirmation by a process of individual majority vote by the General Board. The three complaints also address the appointments of Hesperia senior Killian Richeson as elections director and Grosse Pointe junior Anthony J. Smith as membership director.

The complaints also address recent appointments made by the Gawronski administration to fill the elections director and memberships director positions. Both the elections director and the membership director are e-council positions, which require a campus-wide application process per the Bylaw Article V Sections 7 and 9.

According to the complaints addressed to the SGA, the Gawronski administration failed to execute a campus-wide application process, which they claim is evident by the appointment of Smith and Richeson 45 minutes after the administration came into power.

Joseph, one of the senators to issue a complaint, said he feels the appointment of the new e-council positions was troubling, because it did not give an equal chance for the entire student body to gain the positions.

“How can you claim to have a campus-wide application process and elect somebody to an e-council position within 45 minutes?” Joseph asked. “It doesn’t make any sense, and it is unfair.”

Grettenberger said Monday night’s Senate appointments also denied students a voice in the process.

“Students deserve to have an election process that is fair,” he said. “Instead, what has happened is that Justin and Anna have interpreted the constitution to their own favor, and have picked students out of their own values and not out of any judgement of merit.”

If the review committee finds either the appointments to the e-council or the elections unconstitutional, the committee can strike them both as void and call for elections or new appointments to fill the seven seats and two positions.

Gawronski and Dvorak both said all of the appointments were constitutional and gave equal opportunity to the student body.

Gawronski, a Macomb junior, said the e-council appointments were not influenced by any personal bias, and his selection of Richeson who he ran against for the position of SGA president shows his lack of bias.

“Every appointment that has been made has been based on merit and merit alone,” Gawronski said, pointing out he did hold a campus-wide application process for the e-council positions and that how the process was carried out is up to his interpretation.

He said the senators were only nominated by the Senate, and will be put up for confirmation Monday by the General Board, in order to conform with the SGA’s constitution. Gawronski said provisions in the constitution are by no means strict rules to dictate every action.

“What is written in the constitution are guidelines, and they are somewhat vague,” Gawronski said.

He said a similar appointment process has been used in the past and is nothing new to SGA.

“I myself was elected as a senator this way,” Gawronski said.

Grettenberger said viewing the constitution as guidelines is inaccurate.

“That’s absurd,” Gretternburger said. “The constitution is not mere guidelines … and it can’t be if the SGA wants to consistently represent the students.”

Gawronski and Dvorak will form two SGA committees to address the complaints. The first is a constitution and by-laws committee, which will review the constitution and deem if any changes should be made. The second is an ad-hoc committee which will address student concerns outside of constitutional issues.

Both committees will be chaired by Dvorak and composed of representatives from both the Senate appointed by her and members of the House appointed by the Speaker of the House, Westland junior Patrick O’Connor.

Dvorak, an Alma senior, said both committees will be fair and neutral, and will not interfere with the review committee.

“The students have elected us as their representatives,” Dvorak said. “They should trust that we will be impartial.”

14 Comments

  1. Goodtimescmu says:

    Justin and Anna got to go! Not even in office for a week and they are pulling the exact same ethical hazards as Vince C.did. The student body won’t stand for another corrupt administration. Justin and Anna need to remember that over 60% of the stu dents that voted did not vote for them. They are not even close to being representative of the student body.

    • Someone who cares says:

      To be fair, Vince was unethical in a totally different way.  Accepting paid positions is different from violating bylaws.  But he took a paid job on campus which is totally different from, for example, an SGA president being an RA, the reason being that his job in Facilities Management is a PR job.  What is the purpose of PR?  To uphold the reputation of the university, which obviously poses a conflict of interest for him to best represent the students.  He can’t stir up issues for the students with administration — those are his bosses.  Why would he jeopardize his clearly planned future at this university?  Plus, the fact that he’s now supposed to be teaching a communications course this summer, before even becoming a graduate student, makes clear how crooked he was in his position.  Vince staying in SGA after serving as president is totally unprecedented, and he needs to go — the fact that Anna just gave Vince this senate seat in SGA shows that they will be working together now to bring old and new corruption together.  They all need to go.  Snakes.

  2. “What is written in the constitution are guidelines, and they are somewhat vague,” Gawronski said. 

    Wrong. The constitution and by-laws are not guidelines; they comprise the governing document that all members of SGA must abide by, just like any other organization on this campus. Vague as they may be, it is clear that the violations in question went against the by-laws.  There is absolutely no question about that, because it’s there in black and white. 

    See? The status quo in action here.  This isn’t a personal assessment of Justin and Anna, as a disclaimer.  They are both great people with ambitious goals, and that is certainly admirable.That being said, this is what we get for letting Vince Cavataio latch his political hooks into this organization for yet another year.  This administration is simply a continuance of his corrupt, calculating form of leadership.  I guarantee that Anna Dvorak knew what she was doing when conducting these senate elections; at least she SHOULD know the by-laws in and out (given her past positions within SGA).  It’s hard to say no to your “elders,” though, when they “recommend” that you appoint them to a graduate student position (even though Vince isn’t a grad student yet), as well as their boyfriend to another high position. I’m sure that his “recommendation” spanned far beyond that and into these elections, though.  Given his blatant disregard for the Constitution surrounding his degenerate Unicameral proposal (which he thought would just sail through), I honestly wouldn’t be surprised. This reminds me a lot of the George W. Bush administration.  Bush was a great guy with (originally) awesome goals.  Later, though, he let his father’s friends (Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove) push their policy through him because he was simply too much of a coward to stand up and say “NO! This is MY presidency.” Hence, we had the horrible years of war after 9/11. It’s the same here.  Justin and Anna need to stand up to the corrupt Vince and say “NO, this is OUR administration.” Cavataio has given enough black eyes to the organization, so I don’t see how this can be hard.  Of course, now he will be giving black eyes to the University as part of PR; as if this University needs more black eyes. 

  3. Ryan,

     Lets get one thing straight, Tony Gretternburger is not doing his job. These concerns are suppose to be brought to the Vice President to take action not the Treasurer. Does Tony realize that he is the Treasurer and that Money is his only concern or does his think he is still a senator?

    Also Ryan, you forgot to mention that last year President Vince, appointed Colleen as VP right after Bryant English left! Where was the out cry’s then for not having a campus wide vote? The President can appoint who ever HE OR SHE WANTS TOO!!!! Under Britney and Dave, 15 min into their term ALL OF THE APPOINTMENTS WERE DONE!!! No election there William Joseph. Funny thing is this system of voting in Senators is how TONY and WILLIAM GOT ELECTED AS SENATORS!!! Why didn’t they complain then? Why did no one speak up at the meeting on Monday, why did no one speak up when the agenda was sent out Monday morning to voice their concerns? This seems to be a plot CM LIFE, should find out who is behind this.

    Seems to me, through emails with Tony Gretternburger, Justin, Anna and Patrick the House Speaker, the only person that doesn’t understand the constitution and is telling lies is Tony. If ANYONE SHOULD GO IT IS TONY GRETTENBURGER!!!! Talk to him, HE HAS NO CLUE WHAT IS GOING ON!!! He thinks the Treasurer’s job is to make sure that the VP and President are dong their job. He said in an email to me that the Treasurer is the President at all times! Seriously Tony get a CLUE!!!

    • Dear Chips#1 before you start talking badly about people you should probably take a minute and make sure you at least known how to spell their name.

    • Dear Chips#1,

      Before you start talking badly about someone you should probably take a minute and make sure that you at least know how to spell their name. If you really emailed him you would probably know how to actually spell his name.

    • Grow up, Anna. Turn your caps lock off. We know you have nothing better to do than sit in the SGA office refreshing this page every fifteen minutes, but why don’t you focus your energy on fixing the mess you’ve made first week in office. You complain that past administrations have done this and whine that everyone is targeting you, but the reason other people got away with it was because people actually liked them.

    • The Treasurer (a) has the right to raise these concerns (see: The First Amendment), and (b) is a member of the Executive Board, which means he shares in the responsibility of making SGA an efficient, properly run organization. Tony Grettenberger is exercising his right and his responsibility. Thank you, Tony!

  4. How were any of these appointments fair?  Justin and Anna did not give students a chance to apply who had not previously spoken up.  There could be people sitting in the house silently, who were just waiting to hear about openings, only to hear that they were filled within an hour, with no chance for anyone to apply.

    • Then why didn’t anyone in the House or Senate say they had a problem with these appointments? Let alone the election? The agenda went out 12 hours before the House and Senate meeting, no one said they had a problem with elections. Elections came up on the agenda and no one objected. They voted, no one said anything. William Joseph and Tony left the Senate early, they didn’t stay and talk to Anna or Justin about their concerns. If you ask me the Administration is doing everything right, Tony and William aren’t. 

  5. Vince committed ethical hazards??  PLEASE.  Save your personal issues with him for another article, there are many to choose from.

  6. winston smith says:

    Anna, you are a dirty snake. You are obviously oblivious to the fact that there is organization against you. The way you have contradicted yourself in the treatment to the treasurer (and after the email you sent, trying to get him on your side)  it is becoming campus wide known that you are corrupt and have to go. You have violated so many by-laws and cmu policies, there is no way you will be staying in your position. You have got to be the most ignorant person I know, thinking you can make these claims about senators in your classes and on here and no one would know it’s you. WE KNOW ANNA!

  7. Y’all should just form a shadow government RSO. If the goal is to
    organize positive change at CMU then you might as well just start an
    organization for that purpose. SGA is just a place for idiotic political
    pageantry and you all know it. What little it accomplishes could be
    overshadowed with relatively little effort.

    I think you would find a great many people who would get involved if the
    real purpose of the SGA was actually realized. As it is no one would
    want to be a part of the idiocy that happens Every. Single. Year.

    Its all just a big joke to 95% of campus; that is if they even know it exists.

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