The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Debate society unsure of its fate

Members of the SMU Debate and Forensics Society will entertonight’s Student Senate meeting unsure of their fate aftercoming under review by the Senate Organizations Committee.

According to president Ben Hatch, a downward spiral began whentheir advisor resigned during the 2003-2004 school year.

“I met with [Director of Student Activities] ArleneManthey and [Assistant Director of Student Activities] ThomasHailey this year about planning for the future,” Hatch said.”The meeting was very helpful and seemed to have us pointedin the right direction.”

The coming weeks, however, would cast a negative tone over thesociety, according to vice president Stephen Alexander. “[TheOrganizations Committee] continually said that they wanted to helpus be a successful student organization,” he said, “butafter the second of four meetings, it was clear that they had otherpreconceived intentions.”

Hatch was soon contacted by Melissa Dozier, the chairperson ofthe organizations committee.

“We were put under charter review,” he said,”for ‘a lack of membership and having noadvisor.'”

Student Body Secretary Gabe Travers explained the situation,saying, “Last year, some of the members had concerns aboutseveral issues within the organization.

“The Organizations Committee put them under charter reviewin the beginning of the fall,” he continued, “and gavethem sanctions that they needed to meet.”

In order to avoid revocation, the Committee presented the debateteam with two deadlines. “By Oct. 21,” Hatch said,”we were to submit a list of funds we wanted unfrozen and anew constitution, [and] by Oct. 28 we were to produce an advisor,give them a membership list and submit a list of coaches, who had,in writing said they were interested in working with us.”

After all five of Senate’s requests were matched,according to Travers, “[the team] came before theOrganizations Committee again to show their progress.

“Based on the fact that they didn’t make enoughprogress on those requests,” he continued, “theCommittee made the recommendation last week to revoke theircharter.”

Hatch, along with the rest of his group, was confused as to whythe society was still under charter review.

“Having achieved the Organizations Committee’srequirements,” he said, “we think that it is in thebest interests of the student body and university to have a debateteam.”

Treasurer Kathryn Rowe went on to echo Hatch’s uncertaintyregarding the motivations behind the OrganizationsCommittee’s actions.

“We’ve met everything they asked us to meet by thetime they asked for it to be done,” she said.

Should the organization’s charter be revoked, however, allhope may not be lost for the SMU debate team. Student Senate willvote on the issue on Nov. 16.

“Just because a charter is revoked,” Travers said,”doesn’t mean the end of an organization. Next week,the Senate body will debate and decide what they willdo.”

No matter the outcome of today’s meeting, Hatch maintainshis view that the Debate and Forensics Society should be a mainstayon the Hilltop. “[We] appreciate the efforts of theOrganizations Committee and the Student Senate in thematter,” he said, “but we respectfully disagree as tohow the matter involving the resolution of the matter shouldproceed.”

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