Cody DeSalvo answers debate questions during a presidential candidate debate, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020, in the LBJ Teaching Theater.

Student Government Parliamentarian Cody DeSalvo filed a complaint to the Student Government supreme court against Vice President and Chairperson of the Senate Andrew Florence. Now, DeSalvo faces a potential vote-of-no-confidence from fellow senators.

In the complaint, DeSalvo says Florence has not forwarded the senate meeting attendance records to the senate leader and parliamentarian on a weekly basis, per the Student Government Code of Laws.

He cites article VII, sections 3 and 11; and article II, section 1, of the Standing Rules and Regulations of the Senate, which together shape the attendance enforcement policy for any meetings Student Government senators must attend for business related to the organization.

Per the code, Florence is responsible for enforcing the attendance policy among senators, forwarding the record to the senate leader and parliamentarian every Friday and ensuring the senate clerk keeps all attendance records.

DeSalvo writes, “Transmission of this information is not dependent on a request; it is required by law. The Complainant has given a long period of time, ample opportunity and benefit of doubt by making the requests rather than automatically pursuing action in Court.”

The reason the senate leader and parliamentarian are to be provided the attendance is so they can serve as a check on the chairperson in the case the chairperson fails or is unable to ensure proper enforcement of the policy.

During the Oct. 5 senate meeting, Senate Leader Quintin Lorenz made a public request asking Florence if he could send the attendance records to him and DeSalvo, to which Florence said he would get back to them after the meeting.

Florence states the meeting attendance has been available for DeSalvo to look at.

"Information, including the record of attendance for Student Government meetings, is transmitted into Canvas after [each] meeting, and Parliamentarian DeSalvo has had access to it since it was initially implemented," Florence said.

As a relief, DeSalvo requested the court declare Florence in violation of the Senate Standing Rules and Regulations and order him to provide all attendance records for this session within 24 hours of receiving the order.

On Oct. 16, Senator Matthew Smith drafted a "Vote-of-No-Confidence" resolution to remove DeSalvo as parliamentarian of the Student Senate, as a response to what he calls a wrongful complaint against Florence that creates a conflict of interest in DeSalvo’s ability to hold the office of parliamentarian.

Sponsored by senators Camile Settegast, Montana McMahon, Morgan Hadley, Tiger Shi, Brett Bailey and Grant Chalaire, the resolution says DeSalvo has engaged in a baseless legal battle and refuses to take responsibility for his own actions by relying on Florence to send him the records. It says the records have been made available to the senate leader and parliamentarian on Canvas, which is in line with the articles used to file the complaint against the vice president.

The resolution further states DeSalvo is in violation of the Student Government Code of Ethics, Article II, sections 1 (i) and (j), which read, “Guarding against conflicts of interest for personal gain or abuses of power,” and “Taking responsibility for our own actions,” respectively.

The resolution is set to be read for the first time during the Oct. 19 student senate meeting—potentially at the same time as the supreme court hearing for the complaint at 7:30 p.m.

All student senate meetings and court hearings are open to the public and can be attended by visiting the student government website.

Journalism is an act of civic responsibility. We see our work as a public service that is necessary for a community to thrive because knowledge is empowering. If you enjoyed this story, please consider helping us "Defend the First Amendment" by donating today!

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.