By Paul A. Anthony, Editor in Chief
A compromise has been reached that will continue campaign speeches during Chapel for at least one more year.
Instead of candidates for Students’ Association executive office speaking in Chapel April 2, as SA officials had asked, candidates will speak April 1 in place of Tuesday class Chapels, said Wayne Barnard, dean of Campus Life.
“I was just trying to get an idea going,” said Barnard, who offered the compromise to SA.
The Chapel Programming Team, which determines the day-to-day program of Chapel, had denied last semester the SA request to conduct campaign speeches Wednesday. Instead, the team allowed candidates to speak immediately after Chapel.
The move sparked criticism from those planning to run for executive office.
Barnard then came forward with the proposal that class chaplains-who plan break-out Chapels for their class every fourth Tuesday-agree to conduct Chapel in Moody Coliseum and devote the speaking time to SA candidates.
The chaplains and class officers agreed with the plan. Only the junior class objected, said Jeremy Gordon, SA executive vice president.
“Dean Barnard wanted us to think of a way to do these speeches,” said Gordon, who runs the elections. “One that a lot of people forget is that Dean Barnard is for us.”
Barnard said the future of Chapel speeches is unclear, if only because the future of Chapel is unclear while officials continue to receive feedback through the programming team, Chapel Task Force and the recently conducted Chapel forum.
The Students’ Association, meanwhile, in its meeting before spring break, approved Bill 81-03, the Freedom of Information Act, and Bill 81-09, authorizing the creation of class activity chairs.
The SA FOIA is similar to the national version, requiring Congress and the executive officers to produce public documents and financial records. The class activity chairs would be appointed by the class officers, and their sole job would be to plan activities, while the officers worked on advocacy.
The FOIA passed 35-0 with one abstention, while the class activity chair act passed 26-5, with four abstentions. As expected, all but one of the senior class officers-who long have objected to an advocacy-only job description for class officers-either voted no or abstained.
Other bills discussed March 5 included one to change the SA meeting time to avoid conflicts with Wednesday night church and a bill on voting member responsibilities. Congress also unanimously approved the release of information packets in conjunction with a previously approved resolution supporting the continued funding of the Texas Equalization Grant. The packets will be distributed to the student body, along with a petition to be sent to the Texas Legislature.
Congress is expected to take up Bill 81-06 Wednesday after it was introduced March 5. The bill if passed would create a Student Administration Advisory Board that would act as a liaison between SA and the administration and possibly sit in on various administrative committees such as the President’s Cabinet and Provost’s Cabinet.