Obstruction by SGA senate a shameful start

Editorial Board

While Allenlundy has served as a staff columnist for The Crimson White for the past year, his connection to our organization or his specific qualifications have no bearing on this Our View. This should also not be seen as an endorsement for Allenlundy’s nomination.

Rather, we are disappointed in the actions of the newly elected senators. Spillers was backed by nearly 58 percent of the all votes for president. On Tuesday night, an overwhelming majority of SGA senators voted against Spillers’ nomination, obstructing the simplest actions of one of the most publically-supported presidents in SGA history.

Spillers’ mandate to lead is abundantly clear. The senators’ rejection of one of Spillers’ first actions as president is blatantly opposed to the will of the students who elected them. This is also the first rejection of a chief of staff nomination in at least a decade.

Regardless of whomever is appointed as Spillers’ chief of staff, the SGA Senate is already off to a poor start. They sent a message that they are not the leaders campus needs and voted for, and that they obey their own interests before the interests of those they represent.

By extension, the Senate has, once again, cast The University of Alabama as a whole in a bad light. While we cannot comment on the individual motivations of the senators who voted against Allenlundy’s nomination, we feel they should keep in mind how this action appears to the rest of the state and country.

The first black SGA president in nearly 40 years has had his first nomination blocked by the Senate. Those outside of The University of Alabama will not fail to note that this happened at an institution with a history of racial discrimination. This is nothing new for the University and the state of Alabama, but bad publicity has often brought much-needed change when the few stood in the way of the many.

We also feel it is ridiculous that the chief of staff to the SGA president must be approved by the Senate at all. Even the President of the United States of America does not have to have his or her chief of staff approved by Congress. Moving forward, the SGA should amend the constitution and code of laws so the president can appoint his or her choice for chief of staff, with or without the support of the Senate.

That this was one of the first actions of the new Senate bodes poorly for the year to come. We hope the Senate fixes their mistake and approves Spillers’ choice for chief of staff. The student body, after all, elected him to lead and he should be allowed to do so. For their part, senators should remember that they were elected to represent all students, not their own interests.

Our View represents the consensus of The Crimson White Editorial Board.