As the student government approved a flurry of appointees to fill open committee seats Wednesday, the body chose to postpone the vote on vice chair after members raised concerns that one nominee did not meet the standards required for a leadership position.
After Associated Students of Madison Student Council representatives Tom Templeton and Nneka Akubeze were nominated to fill the seat, members raised questions about Akubeze’s eligibility under University of Wisconsin System Financial Policy F50.
The vice chair seat has remained vacant since Beth Huang was removed from council as the result of a Student Judiciary ruling in mid-October.
According to UW System financial policy on student segregated fees, students holding all leadership positions in student organizations must be “enrolled on a fee-paying basis for at least half-time,” measured by a minimum enrollment in six credits for undergraduate students.
Student Services Finance Committee Chair Sarah Neibart said because Akubeze, a special student, is enrolled in four credits, she is not eligible for a leadership position in ASM.
“It would be illegal to go against F50; … [the nominee] would be ineligible even if appointed,” she said.
Akubeze said Wednesday’s debate before council was her first notification of the requirement and said she would be willing to not accept any stipends from student funds until she had enrolled as a half-time student with six credits.
Akubeze said her seat on council should be representative of all kinds of special students and that she would stay in the race for the position.
“I have the ability to serve in the role and am willing to adjust,” she said. “I do not think this is illegal and will seek more legal council.”
Rep. Zach DeQuattro said it is “ludicrous” that any council member would not be allowed to serve in a leadership position. He also said if Akubeze is disqualified from running, the body should make sure no other members want to run.
Representatives voted to postpone the vote on filling the vacancy until next week’s meeting.
Members also took up new legislation to include the Campus Services Process, a measure recently approved by SSFC, for inclusion in the bylaws.
Neibart said the legislation is to create a process to change the ASM bylaws to allow Registered Student Organizations to contract with a third party based on assessments about what services are needed on campus.
CSP differs from the Campus Services Fund because it provides a process for organizations to contract out for services while allowing for “safeguards” to make sure General Student Services Fund groups are not harmed, she said.
ASM Chair Allie Gardner said the legislation should be further discussed in next week’s meeting because of its complex nature and so more SSFC members could be present to answer questions about the process.
Representatives also debated legislation on the endorsement and approval of the Student Internship Service. ASM intern David Gardner said the measure was overdue after lingering before the body for seven weeks and that it remains still in the planning stages.
Council also confirmed the appointment of DeQuattro to serve as nominations board chair by unanimous consent. Rep. Tia Nowack was also elected chair of the Rules Committee.