Electronic voting bill tabled; office hour legislation sent to committee 

Alex Gravlee and Sky Dunn

Electronic voting tabled 

The SGA Rules Committee indefinitely tabled a bill requiring senators to vote electronically on legislation.

The bill was sent to the rules committee last week for revision and clarification on how electronic voting would be carried out.  

During the committee preceding the Sept. 22 senate session, Tyler Tannehill, the bill’s author, proposed an amendment to the bill to use Microsoft Forms to carry out voting. Tannehill added that other schools like Auburn University were already “more modernized” by using electronic voting in their student government. 

According to Tannehill, the Rules Committee tabled the bill because it thought roll call voting was effective, and that if a vote is not unanimous, senators will have the option to hold a roll call vote. The bill was not voted upon at the senate session that followed the Rules Committee meeting.   

Tannehill disagreed with the committee’s assessment.

“I don’t think roll call voting should be the forefront of deciding controversial issues,” Tannehill said. “This is a crucial issue of transparency and to keep up with the times.”

Tannehill said he remains optimistic despite the outcome and plans to continue pressing the issue.  

“I will not stop until it comes to a final vote,” Tannehill said.

According to the 2021-2022 SGA Rules and Regulations, bills are tabled when “a majority of Senate committee members present” vote to further review the bill. A bill can be “taken from the table” by a majority vote from present senate committee members.

Tannehill said that he is concerned that the bill will never make it off the table. He added that tabling it could be a strategy to kill the bill without it ever making it to the senate floor.  

The Senate will meet in a special session at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29 in the UA Student Center Forum, Room 3700.  


Office hours bill sent to committee 

A bill to revise SGA senators’ office hours was referred to the Rules Committee at the Aug. 22 Senate session.  

The bill was introduced by Senator Xzarria Peterson, who said the bill was created after a student told her that finding her college’s SGA representative was complicated by difficulties figuring out a time when senators are certain they will be available.  

Peterson said that she strives to be accessible to her constituents, which she does through her consistent office hours schedule. 

“I meet at the same time, every week, because that is just my availability,” Peterson said. “If senators are easier to be found and accessed, more student concerns will be addressed.” 

Currently, senators are required to complete three office hours in weeks when Senate meets. Their office hours “must be held in the SGA office, be official SGA business not limited to but including activities approved by the President and Executive Council, or be community service performed in Tuscaloosa or surrounding areas,” per the SGA Code of Laws.  

The Code of Laws also states that “Fifty Percent of a member’s monthly office hours must be obtained through physical in-office attendance unless otherwise approved by the Executive Secretary.”  

Peterson’s legislation aimed to require senators to conduct one office hour at a set time and day every week. The legislation also laid out plans to mandate the posting of these set hours on the SGA website.  

“A schedule of the aforementioned set office hour requirement will be maintained on the SGA website for public viewing and will be updated on a monthly basis per extenuating circumstances (death, illness, prior mandatory commitments),” the legislation read.  

Peterson’s bill was referred to the Rules Committee for further consideration and discussion.  

The Senate will meet in a special session at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 29 in the UA Student Center Forum, Room 3700.