As vice president, Villemain said he has the responsibility to appoint student members to more than 50 external committees, administrative boards and governor’s boards. One of these is the Hardship Parking Committee, which allocates parking permits to students who qualify for hardship parking passes.
Student Congress must approve Villemain’s appointments to the Hardship Parking Committee before its members can make official decisions.
Villemain submitted a bill last week for approval to Student Congress regarding the appointment of Hardship Parking Committee members although he was asked to do so early last semester.
Finance Committee Chairman Josh Aristy said it’s necessary to hold members of the executive branch accountable.
“We need to have a mechanism to provide incentive for an executive branch member to actually do what they’re supposed to do,” Aristy said. “We should punish the official for not doing their job, and I believe one month stipend is punishment enough.”
He said the Finance Committee was in a unique position, as it has rarely had to implement a punishment for a problem like this before.
“It’s something we’ve toyed with in the past,” Aristy said.
Villemain said even though he did end up submitting a bill this semester, Student Congress members were upset over the timing.
“Last full Congress meeting I gave them a bill to approve the Hardship Parking Committee officially. Only a few of the members were able to attend, and I was gonna bring (the bill) back on the next full Congress meeting,” he said. “Student Congress felt that it was inadequate or wrong in some way.”
Student Congress member Priyesh Krishnan said it’s important to establish the guidelines and repercussions for incidents like this.
“We have something to work off of if in the future we have to make these kinds of decisions,” he said.
Aristy said there’s not a full guarantee Villemain’s stipend will be cut because there hasn’t been an official bill drafted to propose the cut yet.
Villemain said he hopes the incident does not hurt the Hardship Parking Committee.
“It’s really a logistical bureaucratic concern. It’s not about the integrity of the committee or the process,” he said.