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"Faculty Senate weighs in on Machine issue"
Wesley Hallman
The Crimson White
April 12, 2006

President says he is concerned about group 'permeating campus politics'

UA Faculty Senate President John Vincent wants the Senate's Student Affairs Committee to address the Machine and its impact on campus affairs.

Vincent, speaking at a meeting of the Senate steering committee on Tuesday, said he was surprised by former SGA President Mary Margaret Carroll's revelation in February that she had once been a member of the group.

Carroll told the UA Student and Campus Life Committee in February about her role in the select coalition of traditionally white fraternities and sororities designed to influence campus politics.

Vincent said he is "concerned about the Machine permeating campus politics" and wants 2006-07 UA Student Affairs Committee members to meet with Margaret King, vice president for student affairs, about the issue.

"The committee needs to talk to King about the Machine and how it operates," Vincent said. "We need to indicate that we're concerned about it."

Senate members also discussed the UA Student and Campus Life Committee's proposal to create political parties for SGA elections. King rejected the idea in March after months of discussion about adding parties.

Faculty Senate Vice President Clark Midkiff said he was not sure the political party system would have been effective, while Vincent said it would have at least allowed students to know who is and is not a member of the Machine.

Vincent and Midkiff both said if the majority of students who are apathetic about SGA elections became concern about the Machine, it would not be able to operate.

In other Senate news, Vincent said he would meet with UA Executive Vice President Judy Bonner for the first time on Monday to address faculty input on the UA budget, among other things. Vincent said he is concerned because the faculty has no idea about the structure of next year's budget.

The Faculty Senate Financial Affairs Committee will meet with the UA Resources and Priorities Committee to make sure the two committees' work is not overlapping.

Jeanette VanderMeer, a member of the Senate committee, said that last year both committees were addressing the Public Education Employees Health Insurance Plan and the Campus Master Plan finances. VanderMeer said she thought the two committees would be more effective if they pursued different topics.

Former Faculty Senate President Mathew Winston said he is thankful it was an uneventful year for the Faculty Senate. Vincent, who served as Senate vice president in 2005-06, agreed.

"It was nice to have only passed two resolutions over the course of the year," Vincent said.