In a ruling Wednesday, the Student Government Judicial Court invalidated the external and internal appointments made by the new SG administration on April 29, stating that the SG executive board violated the organization's governing rules as they apply to disclosing applicant information.
The appointments, which were confirmed by the SG general assembly last month, will need to be reconfirmed when SG meets for the first time in the fall semester. According to SG Chief Justice Philip Wiseman, the executive board may nominate the same people to the internal and external positions, or choose new candidates for the positions.
The ruling said “should members of the executive branch choose to nominate future appointments for any internal or external positions, the Chief of Staff must make all documentation publicly available…”
Despite the lack of interview notes prior to the April 29 meeting, the assembly confirmed all internal and external positions except for the Texas Student Media Board of Operating Trustees.
The ruling was made after Andrew Wilson, outgoing Liberal Arts Council president, filed a petition for review regarding the process of nominating students to positions for Spirit and Traditions Council chair, Faculty Council Student Life Committee chair and any other position in which a nominee who was nominated to a position that was not their first choice.
The executive board addressed the concerns for the nomination of the three committees by deciding to leave the positions unfilled. However, Wilson still asked that the court consider all other positions.
According to Wilson, the process was not transparent because the executive board failed to publicly release interview questions, responses and additional notes of potential nominees.
“The only way to [be transparent] is by releasing notes from the interviews, which the chief of staff has failed to do,” Wilson said.
Despite a court ruling in early April asking the executive board to release all interview notes before the April 29 meeting, Chief of Staff Chris Jordan said the board decided not to do so in order to protect information that students disclosed in interviews.
According to the court’s opinion, these concerns “cannot overcome public interests of combating corruption and ensuring transparency…”
SG President Kori Rady said he stands by protecting the information in the interview notes, but hopes to increase communication with the assembly.
“There were some things that were pretty intimate during the interviews,” Rady said. “That was our concern and that was why the interview notes were not released prior to appointment.”
Rady said he hopes to work with the assembly to make sure privacy concerns are addressed while interviewing candidates.