Status of block seats unclear

Elizabeth Elkin

According to the SGA’s public Code of Laws and multiple SGA senate sources, the section of the Code of Laws cited by the SGA Judiciary in order to strike down the block seating chart never passed the senate and does not exist.

The SGA Judiciary issued a unanimous petition against Branden Greenberg, chairman of Student Organization Seating. In the opinion, Chief Justice Akeisha Young cited Title XIV chapters 1304 and 1305 of the SGA Code of Laws.

The petition argued the Student Organization Seating chart was invalid because it didn’t follow the criteria outlined by Title XIV chapters 1304 and 1305. According to the opinion, three appeals were sent to the Student Judiciary on the day of release of the chart, including one appeal sent at 12:01 a.m.

The most updated SGA Code of Laws does not include a Title XIV. Chapters 1304 and 1305 deal with awareness and entrepreneurial projects.

Young appears to reference bill B-01-2015, “A Bill Ensuring Equal Opportunity in Student Organizational Seating.” The bill, authored by Jackson Britton and sponsored by Marissa Turk, would have established the Student Organization Seating Board and instituted criteria for organization selection. It would have required the Student Organization Seating Board consider academics, campus leadership, community service and special issues.

The bill never passed the senate.

Catherine Faust, director of media relations for SGA, said the SGA chose not to speak about the details further at this time.

According to an unnamed source within the SGA, the SGA Judiciary did not follow protocol in the case against Greenberg.

“Branden Greenberg was not notified that he was a party in a judicial review, nor was he given a chance to submit a brief,” the source said. “He was not notified of the members on the panel beforehand and still is not aware of who was on the panel. He was not able to contest any members on the panel on the basis of conflict of interests. Branden never was asked for nor gave permission for his name to be released on the SGA website in reference to this (in violation of federal mandate). Branden was never notified by the Judicial Branch of any organizations submitting an appeal or of any appeals being heard by Judicial. He was completely left in the dark in all realms of this process. He was given no rights in due process in accordance with the Code of Laws and Student Judiciary Rules.”

Young could not be reached for comment.

It is unclear what impact this will have going forward regarding block seating and the SGA Judiciary itself.