Monday, April 11, 2011

OSU Student Government Association amends bylaws to abide by Open Meeting Act

OSU's Student Government Association last week amended its bylaws, apparently as a reminder to future members that it must comply with the state Open Meeting Act.

The Daily O'Collegian reported in early March that the SGA didn't send meeting notices to the county clerk as required by the Open Meeting Act and didn't post agendas for regularly scheduled meetings on its website as required by another state statute.

Most troubling was that once again an SGA official was adamant that the public body didn't have to comply with the Open Meeting Act.

A fallacy that OSU legal counsel Doug Price once again had to correct.

A reminder wouldn't seem necessary given that a 1979 attorney general opinion specifically says that OSU's SGA and Residence Hall Association must comply with the Open Meeting Act. (1979 OK AG 134)

But four times since 2002, The Daily O'Collegian has reported on open meeting violations by SGA officials. (Read this blog posting for a listing.)

This time, however, the SGA amended its bylaws so that:
  • "All agendas and minutes of the SGA Senate shall be posted to the SGA website. All agendas must be posted 24 hours before Senate convenes, and minutes must be posted following the final edit made by the SGA Senate secretary.
  • "Notice shall be given to the county clerk of all regularly scheduled meetings of the SGA Senate.
  • "The Senate chair shall give notice in writing the meeting dates, times and places for the following calendar year by Dec. 15 of the current year."
The Daily O'Collegian reported that the bill passed and went into effect immediately.


Joey Senat, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
OSU School of Media & Strategic Communications

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the commentators and do not necessarily represent the position of FOI Oklahoma Inc., its staff, or its board of directors. Differing interpretations of open government law and policy are welcome.

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