Last Tuesday, the Student Body President-Elect Christy Lambden appeared before full congress to present his appointments to executive branch for approval. Without much delay, the Student Body Vice-President, Jacob Morse, Student Body Secretary Hannah Fussell, Attorney General Anna Sturkey, and Honor Court Chair Nathan Tilley unanimously; however, when the Student Body Treasurer appointee, Matt Farley’s confirmation came to the floor, several members became hostile almost immediately.
Despite Farley’s confirmation passing unanimously in Rules and Judiciary Committee unanimously, his confirmation did not yield the 2/3’s majority, and failed with 15 yeas, 13 nays and 3 abstentions. Looking at the voting record and minutes of the committee meeting and comparing them to full congress, several members, namely, Stelpflug, Guzek, Clark, and Lucas, voted for Farley without any objections in committee, but came out strongly against him by citing his lack of experience in full congress.
As the vote ended, several members began to whisper about a planned and coordinated effort to derail the nomination due to one member’s personal want to be Treasurer. After the nomination failed, Lambden, visibly angered, abruptly left the room with Farley. According to several members of Congress and constituents, who asked for anonymity to speak candidly on the tense situation, place the blame to derail the nomination on Austin Root.
According to these sources, Austin Root, helped run Lambden’s campaign, and then applied to be the Treasurer. Yet, when he was passed over by Lambden for Matt Farley, he vowed revenge. One constituent pointed to a Facebook chat between Root and some other members, in which the constituent claimed they saw talking points being passed around. One member of Congress, recalling past meetings of Student Congress where Root stormed out after losing votes, stated that Root’s actions to defeat Farley “were part of a disturbing pattern of behavior. He’s had his bills defeated in the past, and he would simply gather his things, and storm, fuming, out of the room mid-meeting,” the member said. “His extreme anger has been a longstanding concern among many members of Congress. It’s unfortunately become a pattern of disturbing behavior.”
When asked by the Carolina Review why the nominee failed Lambden, stated, “I think that congress decided to focus on Matt’s lack of experience with the finance committee of Student Congress. For me this should not be the main role of the SBT and the finance committee should be able to act autonomously without constant supervision from the executive branch.” When pressed as to his reaction to the rejection of his nominee, Lambden stated, “I am extremely disappointed by what happened in congress on Tuesday. I am confident that Matt Farley is the best candidate for the position and is best placed to be able to work against tuition and fee increases, which I view as the key part of the SBT role for the upcoming year.”