Haley Townsend - Editor-in-Chief

Students of USGA meet for vote of no confidence. Co-authors Briana Miller, Andrew Metzler and Evan Wiley Smith introduce the resolution to the USGA Senate. Photo by Cooper CrippenAround 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 13, the UAB Undergraduate Student Government Association (USGA) unanimously passed the resolution “Vote of No Confidence in Dr. Ray Watts.”
The resolution cites Watts’ failure to “demonstrate open communication with the students, faculty, and other key stakeholders regarding major decisions for UAB in the past,” including the recent decision to terminate the UAB football, rifle, and bowling programs on Dec. 2. 

Unanimously, the USGA indicates with this vote “no confidence in Dr. Ray Watts in his role as President of UAB.”
 “We just really hope that the passage of this resolution shows that we need a leader who cares about what students want, who listens to the student and who realizes that the student will not stop fighting to have their voices heard,”said Candy Mosley, Vice President of Communications for USGA.  “Moreover, we really feel like there needs to be a restructuring of the administration that allows for a constant voice to be put forth to the administration that encompasses student concerns, the student body needs, so we’re really trying to push for the reinstatement of a VP of Student Affairs that reports directly to the president.” 
Before the USGA Senate called the resolution to vote, they read it aloud to ensure that the senators understood the gravity of the resolution. No questions or comments were made when a motion opened the floor for debate of the resolution.
Authors Andrew Metzler, Briana Miller and Evan Wiley Smith introduced the resolution, stating that this was about more than football, but about decisions in the past that are indicative of Watts’ problematic leadership style. 
“I just hope [the administration realizes] that this is not just about football; this isn’t just because you took something away from us. A decision was made without any student input, without any alumnae input, without any key stakeholder input, and that’s a problem and something we hope to do away with,” Mosley said. The resolution also cited the restructuring of the University’s Honors Programs as evidence of Watts’ past failures in sharing governance in major decisions.
The resolution states that the “student body must have faith that their President will make bona fide efforts towards student wishes, and that this faith is no longer present due to President Ray Watts’ continued and deliberate avoidance of any meaningful response to the undergraduate student body.” 
The resolution further went on to endorse the proposed Thursday morning Faculty Senate resolution vote of “no confidence,” while stating that if the constituents have no faith in Watts, he has no place as their leader.
“The USGA just wants a president who cares about student needs and will listen to us and take our voices into account,” Mosley said. “We’re hoping that through shared governance and increase in communication that the president, whoever it is, will take into account what students want.“
Update: The Faculty Senate has voted in support of both resolutions, one supporting athletics and the other having "no confidence in President Ray Watts and his ability to lead the university going forward." This is the third vote of "no confidence" in Watts.

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