By Brandon Shaw, Daily Staff Reporter
Published September 10, 2013
A heated debate took place in the Central Student Government chambers Tuesday night, as members of the Voice Your Vote commission voiced their concerns about the proposed nomination of LSA sophomore Samantha Audia as the organization’s next chair.
More like this
On Aug. 15, CSG President Michael Proppe issued an executive order to reinstate the VYV commission for the 2013-14 academic year. Although the commission was initially excluded from the 23 executive commissions structured by Proppe and Vice President Bobby Dishell, an increased assembly interest in the commission’s existence prompted its creation.
In an e-mail obtained by The Michigan Daily dated Aug. 7, Audia expressed her interest in the commission and her willingness to address any queries with regards to the commission. While she was not an active member of the commission in the prior year, her e-mail suggested that her future affiliation with the commission was determined before the commission was publicly created eight days later.
“I truly believe that VYV serves as an essential component to the CSG commissions,” Audia wrote. “I would be more than happy to answer any questions to the best of my ability!”
Four previous members of the group — which encourages civic participation on campus — addressed the assembly, arguing that Audia is not qualified to be chair of the commission due to her lack of prior experience on the board. The members also said that they weren’t made aware of the position’s vacancy.
In response, CSG president Michael Proppe told members of the assembly that he sent out applications via e-mail to a CSG announcements listserv in early August in an effort to fill the position.
LSA junior Jack Flynn, a previous member of the commission, said he was concerned with the proposed nomination of Audia.
“We’re not here to babysit people … to raise someone in Voice Your Vote,” Flynn said. “If you want continuity, we’d have the same chair we had last year.”
Proppe also accused former VYV chair Todd Flynn of running the commission outside the oversight of the CSG constitution, noting that group was intending to hold internal nominations for its next chair. Todd Flynn responded that the commission has its own constitution, but Proppe corrected him in noting that it falls under CSG’s constitution.
Responding to remarks by members of the group, Audia said she feels she’s capable of being chair.
“I want to inform you that I do not need a babysitter,” she said. “(I’m) not coming in here to undermine Todd’s authority; I want to reiterate that I hope to lead this commission.”
Following the comments, the assembly went into closed session for about 35 minutes. When the commission returned to an open session, Assembly speaker Andy Modell said Proppe had withdrawn his nomination of Audia, and that a formal application process for the position would begin Wednesday.
Correction appended: A previous version of this article misattributed a quote to VYV chair Todd Flynn. It also misidentified the listserv that CSG President Michael Proppe used to notify community members about the chair vacancy.