Student District Council closes half of meetings

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District official recommends consultation with attorneys before any executive session.

By Rachel Cooper

The Student District Council met March 10, but there will be no coverage. That’s because the chair wants half the group’s meetings to be in private.

Richard Wells, chair of the student district council and president of Northeast Lakeview, is concerned that representatives might not express their opinions and beliefs if they know it’s on the record.

Coverage of the Student District Council by The Ranger is new, Wells said, adding the council has been around for several years but the previous chair was inactive.

The minutes for the SDC are posted on OrgSync and members of the council try to post as much information as they can, Wells said.

“I do believe that freedom of the press is important,” Wells said.

Today’s SDC meeting is scheduled to be an executive session for representatives to discuss a new set of bylaws.

Ratification and amendments are scheduled for an open meeting March 24.

Wells said, “We currently have nothing in our constitution (by-laws) for executive meetings or executive sessions.”

Dr. Adelina Silva, the district’s vice chancellor for student success, said she’s almost certain Wells should consult the district’s legal counsel before creating executive meetings.

Silva supports funding for the council but said there is no current faculty adviser.

Either Rodell Asher, coordinator of the student leadership institute, or Silva would have advised SDC to create a statement on executive meetings after the March 10 meeting, Silva said.

According to the Texas Freedom of Information Handbook, Appendix B Section 2 Sub sections e and i states there are specific instances that should be reason for an executive meeting.

Exceptions to open meetings exist for consultation with attorney’s with regard to litigation, discussion in a sale of real property, hearings for personnel issues and several other narrow topics.


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