SGA secretary admits to misplacing joint session meeting minutes

The Student Government Association failed to publicly post joint session meeting minutes 48 hours after their approval for the weeks of Oct. 1 and 15.

The constitution dictates that Executive Secretary Julia Stanton record and maintain written records of all executive board and joint session proceedings and “shall post, for public viewing, the minutes of each meeting within forty-eight (48) hours of their approval. The minutes shall be approved no later than the following joint-session meeting.”

Typically, any individual can access minutes from the student government’s weekly meetings on their website. Stanton wrote in an email to The Beacon that all fall semester joint session meeting minutes were approved and posted within the 48 hour period to what she thought was the correct folder linking to the SGA website—rendering the minutes unavailable to the public for a period of time.

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Stanton explained that two identical folders had accidentally been created for posting the minutes, with one of them linking to the website while the other did not. 

“I truly was just doing my job the way I always have—with a dedication to accuracy and transparency,” Stanton said in a separate email.

Executive Vice President Will Palauskas told The Beacon on Oct. 30 that SGA’s website had been appropriately updated.

While all of this semester’s joint session minutes are currently up to date, no executive board minutes are posted to SGA’s website. 

“I would say a lot of our executive session meetings are more informal,” Executive Treasurer Abigail Semple said in a phone interview. “Anything that we’ve done in Executive Session is planning for joint session, so a lot of it isn’t on the record in that sense. I’m not sure if those records were posted historically.”

Minutes are not kept for Financial Advisory Board and senate meetings.

In addition to absent meeting minutes, SGA has not posted a monthly update since March. The organization’s website outlines a plan to post updates once a month on the major happenings in SGA.

“In an effort to keep the Emerson community regularly informed on what SGA is working on, the SGA Executive Board has decided to release monthly updates regarding larger projects or areas of interest,” the website reads.

Palauskas could not explain the lack of updates when asked about them by The Beacon. 

“I’m not sure about that,” Palauskas said. “[Executive President Raz Moayed] might be doing a semesterly update. Definitely something that we’re going to talk about, but nothing that we’ve discussed.”

Semple emphasized the importance of student leaders learning from their mistakes.

“It’s really important that we all recognize that as student leaders we are learning and adjusting all the time,” Semple said. “So we should just remember that when we are growing from these learning experiences that we are also acknowledging our mistakes.”

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