Student government approves $1,000 bill in special meeting
The Student Government Association unanimously passed its first bill of 2013 authorizing an expenditure of up to $1,000 for T-shirts for its members on Jan. 30 in a special meeting, of which the governing body failed to notify The Forum despite its many requests.
The Forum found out about the special meeting when the Senate approved minutes for the meeting during its regularly scheduled assembly on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
In the case of emergency or special meetings, the Freedom of Information Act Annotated 25-19-106 states the person calling the meeting must notify newspaper and other media representatives, who have requested to be notified, of the meeting time, place and date at least two hours prior to the meeting, so that the public may be represented.
“From what I understand there was miscommunication about the special meeting time and making sure The Forum was informed,” Chief of Staff Jonathan Bobo said. “I apologize personally on behalf of the Student Government Association that the correct meeting time and agenda were not conveyed to you in a clear and timely manner.”
This is the second time in as many years that the SGA and The Forum have been at odds over the Freedom of Information Act’s open meetings laws. During the 2011-2012 SGA Administration, then-President Simone Lewis, who currently serves as Senator for the College of Professional Studies, cut short an Aug. 31, 2011 meeting, so the group could meet privately to discuss an SGA sponsored event, despite The Forum’s protest that it should remain open under the Freedom of Information Act.
No new business was brought up in the regular Feb. 7 meeting, but Vice President Ed Hernandez announced the SGA, along with participating student organizations, will take out their brushes Saturday, Feb. 23 to Paint the Town Maroon, an effort to promote Trojan pride by painting UALR and Trojan-spirited designs on the windows of businesses surrounding the university.
The Paint the Town Maroon campaign received the Senate’s approval in September allocating up to $1,000 of its annual budget to purchase painting supplies, brushes and promotional items.
The Senate has $2,890.10 remaining in its budget, Hernandez said in the meeting.