USG Tempe broke their bylaws, again

Undergraduate Student Government Tempe blamed violation of their bylaws on Google Drive confusion

Undergraduate Student Government Tempe failed to publish the agenda and senate bills for their most recent meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 2, violating their bylaws and provoking a lawsuit.

The first few months of the fall semester, USGT was consistently late to publish their agendas and senate bills. These documents provide key information to students and clubs about what is going to happen during the meeting. 

Jackson Dangremond, former USG Downtown president and senior studying health innovation, said failure to post these documents should have led to the canceling of their most recent meeting and is the reason he will be going to the ASASU Supreme Court to file a lawsuit.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the senate filed a motion to temporarily suspend Article 4 Section 11 of their bylaws, which allowed them to temporarily bypass the 72-hour agenda requirement. 

“Since the senate can make its own rules, we can suspend them when we need to,” said Joshua Blinkoff, USGT senate president and a senior studying business law and management.

But Dangremond demurred, saying that bylaws can not be suspended according to the Robert's Rules of Order, which are parliamentary procedural rules.

USGT conforms to the Robert's Rules of Order, according to Allison Sorgeloos, the president of USGT and a senior studying education.

“This brings into question whether (USGT) should be in charge of the student body if they themselves can’t follow their own rules,” Dangremond said.

Read more: USG almost got sued – here's why

Sorgeloos said they forgot to move their meeting agenda from a private Google drive to their public Google drive

“We should be moving away from the (private) team drive to the public drive,” Sorgeloos said, adding that having the two drives sometimes adds confusion and causes this kind of slip-up.

Blinkoff said the senate had to hold the meeting on Tuesday because large amounts of funding needed to be passed.

“If we didn’t amend these bills in a timely manner, we would not have been able to fund those organizations,” he said. 

In total, about $61,545 was allocated to certain organizations during Tuesday's USGT meeting. These funds were allocated to clubs for events, including over $30,000 for a trip to California for the Student Alumni Association and nearly $13,000 to the Coalition of International Students for a special festival. 

Blinkoff said if the meeting had not been held, the organizations would have had to wait another two weeks, until their next senate meeting, for the money. 

Though USGT said they are working to hold themselves to a higher standard and prepare for future meetings, the mistakes and lawsuit may place a stain on their record. 

Dangremond said because of USGT's blatant disregard for transparency, he felt it necessary to file the lawsuit. 

“It is in good practice to admit when you’ve done something wrong,” Dangremond said. “In the future and in bigger, more real situations, if they’ve already gotten in this habit, there are going to be much larger consequences.” 


 Reach the reporter at mlshuman@asu.edu or follow @mackenzieshuman on Twitter.

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