Five senators confirmed properly, pro tempore says

The five ASWSU senators who were previously believed to have been confirmed incorrectly were in fact properly appointed, according to the pro tempore’s interpretation of the bylaws.

Garvin Price said that after careful consideration, he needed to interpret what exactly it meant to be “nominated” by the ASWSU president and vice president or the Senate.

According to the bylaws, when there is a vacancy in the Senate, the president and vice president must hold an open application process and nominate three of the applicants within 15 school days of the vacancy opening.

Then, at the next Senate meeting, senators vote by plurality on the three nominees, selecting a candidate to fill the position. This vote of plurality is to ensure that someone will win the vote every time out of three candidates.

If the president and vice president do not nominate three candidates within the allotted time, then it falls to the Senate to nominate candidates.

The president and vice president had in fact been selecting candidates out of the open application process, but the Senate had not been aware that they could nominate people.

What the Senate had been doing was inviting three people selected out of the application process to speak before the Senate. After a small question-and-answer session, the Senate then votes on the candidates.

The candidates required a two-thirds majority vote to be confirmed, regardless of whether there were two or three candidates or how they had been nominated.

“If you are invited to Senate, then you are nominated,” Price said. “And if you show up, then you are accepting that nomination.”

Price said that as the parliamentarian, he has the final say in interpreting the bylaws by using precedent. The Judicial Board will not rule on this matter because they only do so in situations when they are asked to because there is no precedent.

Price spoke with the chairs of the ASWSU committees and ASWSU adviser Rudy Trejo before he arrived at this interpretation.

“This decision wasn’t taken lightly,” Price said. “Everybody feels good that [the five senators] were confirmed correctly.”

Price never questioned the appointments of three of the five senators because they won a two-thirds majority vote out of three candidates.

However, Sens. Brad Hawkins and Kyle Montgomery were both confirmed with less than three candidates. Hawkins was the only candidate for the College of Education position, and Montgomery was confirmed with only one opponent.

After consideration, Price said these two candidates do not need to be reconfirmed because Hawkins was the only candidate after the application had been open for two months, and Montgomery was nominated along with two other candidates but only one of them accepted the nomination by coming to Senate.