May 21, 2018

Webster University SGA’s president moves to remove sergeant-at-arms

Student Government Association (SGA) Comptroller Shiloh Bradley refused to present the budget report during Tuesday’s meeting. Bradley said it was in protest of President Vasif Durarbayli’s removal of Scott Lunte, the sergeant-at-arms. Durarbayli and Lunte ran against each other for SGA president in Spring 2017 for the 2017-2018 academic year.

“I am continuing to protest the decision to remove Scott Lunte from his position of sergeant-at-arms,” Shiloh said. “I believe this decision is unjust and unfair and I will delay many of the duties as comptroller until the reinstatement of Scott Lunte.”

Durarbayli made movements to remove Lunte for the second time from his position on SGA last Tuesday prior to the closed meeting.

“Vasif and I have conflicting personalities,” Lunte said. “We are both very strong willed and even stubborn individuals. I’m disappointed and disheartened that this is the actions that the leader of the Webster student body thought were the best use of his time, instead of actually working to advance the interests of the students.”

Durarbayli alleged Lunte was not completing his duties as sergeant-at-arms, not organizing Constitution Committee meetings in which Lunte is the chairperson and did not complete his weekly office hours. Prior to the movement to have Lunte removed from SGA, Durarbayli reported Lunte to SGA advisors Jennifer Stewart, Dean of Students John Buck and former Dean of Students Ted Hoef via email on Dec. 1, 2017.

Lunte said he did not see a benefit to his removal in the last six weeks of their terms in office other than unresolved personal differences between himself and Durarbayli. Durarbayli said he did not see this as a personal vendetta, but as making a point.

“I believe that the Student Government Association sees me as a punching bag and they blame me for everything,” Durarbayli said. “All of them claim it is a personal vendetta, but the only argument is the person is not doing the job. So is it a personal vendetta if the person is not doing the job? It will show current and future members that if you do not do your job, you will not be in student government.”

First removal attempt

Director of Student Engagement Jennifer Stewart took over as SGA advisor in Spring 2013. Stewart said in her time as advisor, there have been two times where the president has moved to have someone removed from their position on SGA.

Lunte said one of these times was Sept. 20, 2017 when Durarbayli moved to have him removed for the first time.

Durarbayli alleged Lunte did not maintain up-to-date records of committee meetings and failed make them available for student inspection. Durarbayli also alleged Lunte made an unscheduled meeting without consulting members of SGA, according to the “Review of Scott Lunte’s Appeal” paperwork.

Stewart said reasons to remove someone from their position on SGA can range from failing to abide by Webster University Rules and Regulations indicated in the student handbook to failing to uphold or abide by the SGA Constitution. A person can also be dismissed for unexcused absences at general meetings or committee meetings, according to the SGA Constitution.

Lunte appealed the president’s first decision to remove him from office. The advisors at the time, former Dean of Students Ted Hoef and Stewart, conducted a review of the appeal and eventually overturned the removal.

Current Dean of Students John Buck and Stewart will conduct Lunte’s appeal of Durarbayli’s second attempt to remove him.

 

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