The Weber State University student senate met at the Davis campus on April 3 at 2:30 p.m., unbeknownst to Davis campus Vice President Hayley Tomney and other leaders.
This meeting fulfilled the senate’s contractual obligation in the Student Involvement and Leadership by-laws to hold one official meeting at Davis campus. The by-laws were changed by the Senate earlier this year, decreasing the official senate meetings held on Davis campus from two to one but increasing their unofficial meetings.
The bylaws also states: “Date of said meeting shall be determined by the second week of each semester by the Legislative Vice President, jointly with the Davis Campus Senator.” SIL adviser Erik Ashby, however, said the meeting was not planned within the first two weeks of the semester.
Dean of the Davis campus Bruce Davis and Tomney report being uninformed of the Senate’s plan to meet on the Davis campus on April 3. Davis said it would have been nice to have been informed of the meeting so he could have attended, and he offered to answer any questions about the Davis campus the senate may have.
“It’s important for us to know about these things so we can advertise for them properly to our student body and be there to welcome the senate to our campus,” Tomney said. “It’s unfortunate that the one meeting the senate holds on our campus goes unannounced to the leadership here. It’s a big missed opportunity. It’s really disappointing.”
Tomney works as a Davis service specialist on the Davis campus. According to her, “They didn’t even have a room booked for the Senate meeting until 9:30 a.m.” on the same day the meeting was held.
“By the time I found out about the meeting, there was no way I could get there in time,” Tomney said.
Newly-elected Davis campus VP McKell Costley addressed the Senate on behalf of Davis campus, welcoming them and showing appreciation for her allotted time on their agenda. Costley asked that the Senate strive to maintain open lines of communication with the Davis SIL representatives.
“I look forward to working with the Senate in the upcoming year and to building a positive relationship,” Costley said.
Current Legislative VP Jeffery Henry said that the decision to hold senate meeting at Davis was discussed in public forum and could be found on the record.
“It’s a decision that was made in the Senate, and the Davis campus senator was informed. It’s on the record. There wasn’t ever anything behind the scenes,” Henry said. “It’s the Davis senator’s responsibility to coordinate with Davis on behalf of the Senate.”
Both Henry and Tomney serve on the SIL executive board, which meets every Thursday. When asked if he made any attempt to notify Tomney of the senate meeting during that time, Henry said, “I communicate with the other members of the executive branch — but I rely on the resources I have. I delegated that.”
Sen. Jessica Cairo of the Davis campus acknowledged a communication breakdown within the ranks of the Davis SIL, noting the various ways the information could have been miscommunicated, including verbal conversations and group messaging among the programing board.
Cairo was not at the senate meeting due to traveling out-of-state on family obligations.
“As the Davis senator, I take responsibility for not making sure they were notified,” Cairo said.
Newly-elected Legislative VP Parker Hughes said, “In no way was this malicious towards the Davis SIL. It was nothing more than a miscommunication.”
Hughes said in the upcoming year he is willing to make significant effort to maintain open lines of communication and has already reached out to Costley to ensure that Davis receives fair representation in senate in the 2017-2018 academic year.