SGA Senate rejects Michael Bearth as vice president


Mia Hennen

Michael Bearth answers questions from SGA senators during on Sept. 21. Bearth was nominated by President John Kirk but was rejected by the Senate.

The student body vice president role stays vacant after the student Senate rejected SGA President John Kirk’s nomination this week.

Kirk nominated former Student Body Vice President Michael Bearth to serve as the next vice president on Sept. 19, but he failed to secure the spot with 25 voting in negation.

Bearth served as VP from 2019-2020 alongside former President Kitrina Miller. Bearth also served as a senator from 2017-2019. After his term as VP ended, he took a break from SGA.

“I am confident within his abilities and everything that he could and will be doing with the university,” Kirk said before Bearth stood before the Senate.

After standing before the Senate in hopes of being confirmed for the role, Bearth was rejected. 15 voted in favor, 24 in negation and three abstained from the vote.

“I feel like Michael Bearth is kind of looking at things from a 62nd point of view instead of looking at things from a 65th point of view just judging off his speech … I could tell he hasn’t been as involved with the student body as of late,” senator Zane Berry said.

When Bearth was asked why he wanted to come back to SGA after being away for a few years, he said Kirk and SGA Advisor Gabriel Fonseca persuaded him to join again.

“Short answer is because I was asked,” Bearth said. “To be honest, I didn’t have a plan to join back up with SGA, [the idea] was put in my head.”

With this rejection, the VP role has been vacant for a month. Concerns were raised about leaving the role open for too long, as this could potentially stunt efficiency in the Senate.

“It does create some unintended consequences,” Fonseca said.

The vice president is in charge of breaking ties in the Senate if any ever rise. In addition, if the speaker of the Senate or the speaker pro tempore – an official who acts as speaker in absence of the speaker of the Senate – is absent, the vice president would fill in the role of the speaker.

Currently, the speaker pro tempore role remains empty as well.