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SGA committee finds Gawronski’s election director appointment unconstitutional, other charges cleared

The Student Government Association review committee tasked with reviewing the actions of recently-elected SGA president Justin Gawronski and former vice president Anna Dvorak found the administration failed to follow bylaws.

Complaints arose in the SGA after the appointment of Killin Richeson to the election director position.

The committee, composed of Royal Oak sophomore Matthew Swastek, two randomly selected members of the house and senate and an ex officio member representing the office of the Dean of Students, recently reviewed several controversial actions taken by the Gawronski administration, and had the power to enforce any changes it deemed fit to better uphold the SGA constitution and by-laws.

The committee found that the Gawronski administration failed to follow Bylaw Article 5, Sections 7 and 9 in appointing Richeson, a Hesperia senior, to the election director position. The committee’s findings state “by confirming the Elections Director without having a campus wide application process, the bylaws were violated.”

Richeson was appointed to the vice president position after Dvorak resigned, causing another election director confirmation process. The review committee’s findings state that it would “like to acknowledge that the administration is currently running a campus-wide application process according to the bylaws.”

Applications for both the Elections Director position and the Student Budget Allocation Committee chairperson position can be found on the SGA’s Facebook page or on Blackboard.

Gawronski apologized to the general board following the announcement.

“I formally apologize for how the Elections Director nomination was previously held, and I am happy that I am able to rectify that mistake,” he said.

In addition, the review committee found the Gawronski administration did not violate the constitution or the bylaws when they elected five senators from within. The committee did, however, reccomend that the administration change the wording of Article 2, Section 2 of the by-laws to read: “A senate seat that becomes vacant shall be filled by election in the Senate and confirmed by the House.”

Swastek said they came to the conclusion because the bylaws were not clear in their wording on how the process of Senate elections should be carried out.

“When you look at the bylaws, the wording is vague,” Swastek said. “How the elections were performed was up to Justin’s interpretation. We didn’t see how they could have violated the bylaws with this in mind.”

The committee also found that Dvorak did not violate any bylaws during the senate meeting in which the elections took place, because no Senate leader was elected. As Article 5, Section 2 of the by-laws specifically states: “The vice president shall call and preside over the first senate meeting of his or her term until a Senate leader is elected.”

“I’m happy that no senators were forced to be removed from their positions,” Gawronski said. “They are all qualified.”

Gawronski said although the review committee did not find the senate elections unconstitutional, his administration is considering making changes to the elections proccess.

Treasurer Tony Grettenberger, who oversaw the review committee but did not take part in the decision, said he did not agree with the review committee’s third finding and found the the wording of Article 5, Section 2 also should have been changed.

“I think that there was some confusion,” Grettenberger said. “The wording of the bylaws were unclear. Is the Senate’s first business to elect a Senate leader, or is the Senate’s first business to elect senators? The committee never adressed this.”

Although Grettenberger disagreed with some of the findings, he said he was pleased with the review process overall.

“In general the process went well,” he said. “We had a group of students who were committed to reviewing and changing the document.”

One Comment

  1. Former SGA Senator says:

    The intent of the wording was to allow the House to fill the Senate Vacancy through nomination and approval of either a house member or a student outside of SGA as a means to maintain oversight of the Senate.

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