Tag Archives: SGA

Confidence games

Last week, 133 College faculty, or 40% of voters, declared that they had no confidence in President Wagner as a leader of Emory. Wagner and his supporters are calling the referendum a victory. Here’s why we don’t think it’s that simple: The motion for a referendum survived three faculty meetings (including one at which Wagner was present), as did the Payne motion calling for a review of the cuts. 133 votes on a symbolic, non-binding motion cannot be ignored. And the high number of eligible faculty who didn’t vote at all (47%) speaks to the obscurity of governance and the president’s responsibilities.

Finally, we are still awaiting the graduate student vote. Go to www.emory.edu/vote tomorrow (April 16) between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

This morning, Wagner emailed the entire Emory community with a veritable Mad Lib of administrative clichés. We couldn’t help but notice a striking resemblance to last week’s “Keep Wagner” campaign:
Wagner email and Keep Wagner petition

The creator of the campaign, which appeared halfway through the faculty vote and appears to target undergraduate students (who were denied the right to an actual vote on the matter by the SGA), has “requested anonymity because of his affiliation with a student organization.” He implies that SRC activism, rather than any particular contribution Wagner has made to the university, was the catalyst. To which we reply: It must take a lot of courage to defend the status quo, word for word.

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Faculty “confidence” vote confirmed

At a “special” faculty meeting this evening, professors agreed to hold an electronic vote asking the faculty whether they had confidence in James Wagner as the president of Emory. The meeting was prolonged by filibustering efforts and some barely veiled hostility between humanities and sciences faculty members, with social scientists evidently caught in the middle. Apparently, some professors believe taking a principled, protected stand amounts to a “temper tantrum.” The vote is slated to take place…ASAP.

The Student Government Association, on the other hand, opted not to include the referendum question “Do you have confidence in the direction of the University on tomorrow’s election ballot. It was another dragged-out affair: 4 non-voting SRC members came to support Andy Ratto’s bill, which was largely supported by graduate student leaders, but overwhelmingly dismissed by undergraduate representatives and by SGA President Ashish Gandhi.

What’s the significance of all this (well, the faculty referendum, anyway)? SRC member David Mullins reflects on the tense meeting with President Wagner last December. He recalls Wagner saying, “If you wanted a democratic university, you’d need another president and a vote of no confidence.”

So, let’s answer Wagner’s rhetorical question. Do we want a democratic university?

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SGA to vote on Wagner

SRC member Andy Ratto has added the following motion to the agenda for the Student Government Association meeting. In short, the motion would allow all Emory students to cast a vote about Pres. Wagner during the campus-wide elections next week. There’s a lot of momentum for an action like this in the wake of no-confidence motions at NYU, Saint Louis U, the North Dakota state university system, Coppin State U., the University of Southern Maine, etc., etc.

Bill 46sl: “Calling for a Student Vote About Emory President James Wagner”
Whereas there has been an ongoing discussion on campus about the performance of President James Wagner, and;
Whereas the college faculty have already voted to censure President Wagner through their established procedures but the opinion about him from the student body is currently unknown, and;
Whereas the voice of the student body should be heard and considered in matters of the governance of Emory University, and;
Whereas a vote about a University President is an established method for evaluating performance, and such a vote has occurred at other schools by both university faculty, and from students as well, and;
Whereas the SGA supporting this bill would not mean a judgment in any way about President Wagner’s job as President, but rather a commitment to including the student voice in the operation of Emory University, and;
Whereas the Student Government Association can offer up a referendum to a vote by the student body.
Therefore, let it be enacted by the 46th Legislature of the Student Government of Association of Emory University that a question regarding whether or not students still have confidence in James Wagner as President of Emory University be put forward for the entire Student Body to vote on during the Spring 2013 elections, on Thursday, March 28, 2013, unless moved by the Board of Elections, as a referendum.

The meeting is tomorrow (Monday, March 18) at 7pm, in the Faculty Dining room in the DUC (across from the post office). All supporters are encouraged to attend, as the measure requires a two-thirds vote even to be debated, and a further 51% majority to pass.

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Tonight: SGA meeting

There will be a Student Government Association meeting tonight at 7:00 p.m. in the Faculty Dining Hall (basement of the DUC). Dean Forman will be addressing the graduate student body for the first time. The SGA encourages all grad students concerned with the restructuring to attend.

If you couldn’t attend, @EmoryCuts has graciously live-tweeted the event: follow or join in with the hashtag #emorycuts.

Edited to correct organization names.