House to fill vacancy

A special election will be held Nov. 8 to fill a vacancy in the House of Student Representatives after a representative of the College of Science and Engineering resigned last week. Rep. Thomas Guidry, a junior computer science information major, cited in his resignation letter “distress and heartache” as reasons for leaving.

Guidry had been a representative in the House for five semesters. Vice President Trevor Smith said he is disappointed about Guidry’s resignation.

“He’s a debater,” said Smith, a junior finance and accounting major. “He often argued the alternative opinion and was persistent in letting the House see his point of view.”

Guidry said he feels members of the Student Government Association have been unethical and broken rules they have sworn to uphold.

He said there are several examples, but the Judicial Board’s ruling on the Hurricane Relief Bill was the determining factor in his decision to resign. Guidry said he was unhappy with the final ruling and said SGA members were ruling with their emotions not their responsibility to the Student Body Code.

“I always left meetings so angry that no one cared and rules weren’t being enforced,” Guidry said. “Once I started losing sleep over it, I realized that I didn’t want to be part of an organization like this.”

Prior to his resignation, Guidry had filed a complaint about the Hurricane Relief Bill authorized by the House, which distributed financial assistance to students affected by Hurricane Katrina. Guidry said the bill violated the charitable contributions clause in the Student Body Code, which states: “No charitable contributions shall be made from the student body fund. Charitable contributions include, but are not limited to, payments made to charitable organizations.”

The bill was taken to the Judicial Board, the final interpreter of the constitution, where it ruled the bill did not conflict with the Student Body Code.

“I wish he (Guidry) would have given up on the Hurricane Relief Bill,” Smith said. “There are other battles to fight. We need to pick and choose our battles, and there are others that need to be fought.”

Rep. Mandy Velasquez, College of Health and Human Sciences, said Guidry is following through with his beliefs.

“I’ve seen Thomas through House since his first semester, and he’s always been more than willing to share his opinion,” said Velasquez, a senior speech pathology major. “He feels strongly about his beliefs and, for him, it had been long enough.”

Smith said though he would like to see Guidry run for House again in the future, right now the House is moving forward by seeking someone to fill the vacancy.

Applications are available online at