Review Erred on Senate
To the Editor:
I write this letter in the hopes that it will clear up some confusion that may surround the decision of Student Senate to remove John Byrne.
The decision to remove Byrne was not simply a matter of attendance. There were several arguments aired at the meeting for removing Byrne. The Review did not send a reporter to the meeting where Byrne was removed, nor to the following meeting (even though the author expressly requested the attendance of a reporter to ensure balanced coverage), the story was written using a few individuals’ perspectives. This is unfortunate. I don’t believe that the Review or its reporters made these mistakes intentionally, but nevertheless I feel that it is appropriate to provide additional background.
The decision to remove a senator is a serious matter and was treated accordingly. Several senators felt that removal was too strong a sanction, and/or that it would harm the function of Student Finance Committee. These views were expressed and considered. However, the majority of Senate found that Byrne’s repeated absences, coupled with failure to hold his constitutionally mandated office hours, warranted such action. Additionally, some senators were concerned that a student who was unable to meet his Senate duties should not be paid to review the budgets of other student groups.
I fear that I will not be able to do justice to the great diversity of views and reasons that informed Senate’s decision. Those who supported and those who opposed the measure argued eloquently and respectfully. It is a shame that the debate was reduced (in the Review) to a few isolated quotations.
Senate’s meetings are open to the public, and I would entreat members of the campus community and members of the student media to attend Senate meetings. Senate meets Sunday night in Wilder 215 at 7 p.m.
on behalf of Student Senate
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