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Wednesday, August 9, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 65, Issue 166 

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SGA controversy reaches Freshman Council

By Ed De La Garza
Daily Cougar Staff

Student Government Association President James Robertson Jr. has been accused of stalling Freshman Council efforts.

When Bill Kelly, a former senator from the Honors College, and Kim Webb, whose position as SGA director of public relations is under dispute, attempted to speak to Robertson on Monday about promotional plans for the Freshman Council, he reportedly threw the two out.

Robertson failed to submit a request by Aug. 3 to the Houston Alumni Organization for representation at Cougar Craze, an annual event for incoming freshmen. When Kelly learned of this, he submitted a request himself.

Robertson was handed a copy of the request listing him as the contact person for SGA and a supply request signed by Kelly and Webb. It was then he reportedly became angered.

"It was in response to me saying this is what we need, this is what we need to go over for Freshman Council," Kelly said. "He said, 'I don't give a crap about what you think.'"

Webb reported that the anger was mostly directed at her. Webb has continued performing her duties as an executive officer.

"There is no need for him to try and ignore Freshman Council or try to prevent (it) just because he doesn't like me or what's going on in the Senate," Webb said.

The Senate was presented a bill of impeachment against Robertson June 7. A committee of investigations continues to look into charges -- one of which concerns the president's authority to dismiss executive officers Webb and Director of Finance Leigh Street.

Reliable sources stated that after Kelly submitted the request, Robertson then attempted to withdraw it, citing he had not given his authorization. He then "gave the impression that (SGA) would not be attending."

After learning this, Kelly changed the contact information, listing himself instead of Robertson.

Robertson, however, refuted claims he was attempting to stall progress on Freshman Council.

"I have been working very hard to recruit students for various organizations, including Freshman Council," Robertson said. "I have no problem with Bill Kelly. Whatever they want to do is fine, as long as it's for the betterment of the students."

He also discounted Kelly's and Webb's contentions that he kicked them out of his office or even raised his voice.

"The situation wasn't bad at all," he said. "I told them I had business to take care of and I'd see them later."

Kelly said he would run off 200 copies of the Council application to distribute at Cougar Craze rather than waiting on Robertson.

"Who do I report to?," Kelly said. "There's no accountability because there's no executive board. He's a good mixture of nonfeasance and malfeasance."
 

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