On March 18, Newton SGA defied the Open Meetings Act during the Student Activity Funds budget proposal hearing. They withheld crucial information from attendees, making it nearly impossible to follow fund allocations for the 2012 fiscal year.
Throughout the hearing, reporters were repeatedly denied a copy of the budget hearing proposal for the 2012 fiscal year. After the third attempt to secure a copy of the document, they were told to file an open records request.
“We only made enough copies for the committee members,” stated Student Life coordinator Karen Farmer.
Items being discussed were referred to as priority numbers and rank numbers that could only be followed if looking at the proposal itself.
SGA members also violated the Georgia Open Meetings Act with hushed whispers throughout deliberation. When asked to speak up, Madame Chair Tomeka Nichols said, “we are having a private conversation.”
Informed that this meeting was subject to state law and all attendees reserved the right to hear all discussions within the meeting, Nichols insisted, “it’s not something we want to put out to everybody.”
At that time, Student Life Director Stephan Moore told the committee to continue carry on and instructed Nichols to relay to The Collegian that they needed to be addressed before they spoke. Moore then proceeded to inform Dean of Student Services Keith Cobbs of the disturbance created by The Collegian.
After questioning The Collegian staff in attendance and being informed of the organization’s defiance of state law, Cobbs simply stated, “I wasn’t there so I don’t know what happened.”
Cobbs was informed of the defiance in detail, as well as the video evidence of the incidents that took place.
Opens Meeting Act Dismissed by SGA
Moore’s Private Conversation
Another Private Conversation