SGA requests meeting and minutes from board of trustees

By Murphy Obershaw, Copy Editor

Newman’s Student Government Association recently passed a resolution asking that it be provided with the minutes from a board of trustees meeting that sparked rumors, outrage and visits from local television stations to Newman.

But the board’s chair, J.T. Klaus, said that students who have questions about what was discussed at that meeting should attend a Town Hall Meeting, scheduled for Monday. He hasn’t received a copy of the minutes himself, he said, and doesn’t usually until about a week before the next meeting.

“I understand the SGA President was specifically advised to bring any questions to the regular Town Hall meeting with cabinet, where everyone is always welcome,” Klaus said.

The SGA resolution also asked for a meeting that would involve board members, administration, faculty and students.

At its meeting in September, the board of trustees discussed different ways the university could save money.  Some of their suggestions involved potentially cutting some programs from Newman, and information spread on social media that music in particular would be cut. The university later said that the information was incorrect and that no decisions about music had been made.

“Students were concerned when they had heard rumors about certain things regarding the university and the future of certain majors and the future of certain departments,” SGA Secretary Mac Foley said.

Because of this, Foley said, some members of SGA decided to take action to clear up some of the rumors.

SGA President Emily Larkin said she was approached by senators Corby Redington and Martina Viale, with the idea for the bill.

“They felt as senators this was the best way that we could represent our constituents and push for this bill to clear up some of that hearsay,” Larkin said.

The resolution is not only a request to see the minutes from the meeting, but it also asks that Larkin try to set up a dialogue with members of the board, the dean of students, and arts and letters faculty.

Larkin said she is currently working on that.

The bill was presented by Senator Redington during an SGA meeting a couple weeks ago.  The senators discussed the bill and were able to ask questions before someone made a motion.  The bill was passed with 17 votes in favor, zero votes against, and two votes abstaining.

SGA has requested to see the minutes from the meeting, but there is no guarantee that the board will give them out.

Larkin said SGA has yet to receive an official response.

The board of trustees will not meet again until February.

The Town Hall will be at 2 p.m. on Monday in the Dugan-Gorges Conference Center.

PHOTO: Courtesy Photo, Newman Advancement.