Student Government expands confirmation requirements for executive appointments

Allie Kolechta

After a hearing and deliberation over discrepancy of official and unofficial appointments by the judicial branch of Student Government, a verdict has been reached.

SG School of Law representative Austin Carlson petitioned against several unofficial positions made by SG President Natalie Butler, who defended her actions by stating that expediency sometimes calls for sudden appointments.

Butler also said she should have the right to send someone to meetings in her place.

SG chief justice Alden Harris released the final decision on Sunday, which states that the term ‘appointments’ should include all nominations or selections made by the executive branch, and “must be confirmed by a vote of the assembly, subject to several important exceptions.”

Exceptions include extra time for confirmation in cases which require expediency, allowing Butler to continue sending people to stand in for her when she can’t make meetings and allowing members of the executive branch to make appointments while not working in their capacity as student body representatives or SG representatives, Harris said.

“What [the decision] does in a nutshell, it slightly expands the universe of people who need to be confirmed but I don’t think it will have that huge of an impact,” he said. “It’ll give the committee more to reference on a few of those ad hoc committees and borderline cases.”

The decision will be in effect by the end of the month, Harris said.

The exception for expediency will allow the executive branch to better handle situations, which call for fast action, Butler said. Without it, it would become difficult to appoint students to positions in committees with short timelines, she said.

“I’m glad they made the clarifications that they did and I’m working to comply as fast as possibly,” she said. “It’s honestly what I expected. I clarified my opinions but they disagreed and that’s fine. I think it’s good that we have clarification.”

Before this, the executive branch could appoint students to positions with no applications or publicity, Carlson said.

“A lot of times, the president’s office just wants to have a student appointed,” he said. “This way it undermines them giving a position to a random student.”

Although Butler has done a better job of transparency than some past presidents, this will prevent unapproved appointments in the future, he said.

“The biggest thing I’m going for is I want SG to be as accessible as possible,” he said. “As important as this is, it’s still just another step in the direction of transparency.”