Retraction (Sept. 15, 2022, at 1:39 p.m.): A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that Cameron Eubanks was confirmed to division secretary of student services in the student body president's executive cabinet at the student senate meeting on Sept. 14. The story has been updated to reflect the information that Eubanks was not confirmed.
Cameron Eubanks was not appointed the division secretary of student services in the student body president's executive cabinet during Wednesday's student senate meeting after a period of debate.
Eubanks went through two joint-committee interviews earlier in the year and a period of debate was held Wednesday night over his candidacy. He was not appointed due to not getting a two-thirds majority.
The position was created last year and no one held it. The position oversees six departments and their deputy secretaries: Greek life, academics, inclusion and equity, athletics, disability services and veteran affairs/community relations.
Eubanks, a third-year international studies and criminal justice student, previously served on the 112th and 113th student senates and was chairman of the academics committee last semester. He was nominated to the president’s cabinet by student body president Reedy Newton, who spoke on his behalf before the period of debate within the senate.
“By not having these positions filled, our initiatives are on the line and the promises that we made to the student body are on the line,” Newton said.
Eubanks was originally interviewed for the position by three committees of the student senate in April. The academics and student life committees voted him favorable. The inclusion and equity committee, chaired by student senator Courtney McClain, did not.
McClain said her committee was concerned that Eubanks had not adequately planned for each of the six departments under him, especially inclusion and equity.
The committee had been hopeful for a secretary with a plan to pressure new university President Michael Amiridis on the Heritage Act, after past presidents had refused to address the law.
The Heritage Act prohibits the removal of historical monuments without the consent of the state legislature.
“He has a general understanding of each category, but general is not satisfactory, and especially when it comes to the Heritage Act — as one of the main problems for Black students on campus. The way he answered this question was not satisfactory,” McClain said.
Eubanks was interviewed again in September by the same committees. This time, the student life committee also found Eubanks unfavorable.
The committee noted no substantial detail in the disability services section of the plan, though they had approved it the first time. The committee echoed McClain’s concern that Eubanks may stress communication over direct action.
The academics committee, which found Eubanks favorable on both occasions, cited a comprehensive academics plan — especially to help Newton advocate for more advisors — extensive Student Government experience and managerial experience from being a head page at the S.C. Statehouse.
In a vote of 22-20 with one abstention, the student senate did not appoint Eubanks to the position.
The abstention was speaker pro tempore of the student senate Jada Hudson, citing a case Eubanks brought against her in the spring to the Constitutional Council, which is the judiciary branch of the student government.
Hudson sat in on Eubanks' original interview with the three committees in April. Committee meetings have an open-door policy and anyone can sit in. However, Eubanks is concerned that Hudson’s presence as a person with a leadership role may have swayed the outcome of his original interview.
“I do think that she did give her opinion on myself as a nominee. I think she did that, and I think that did have an impact on other senators, but I don't think it was necessarily intentional,” Eubanks said.
He said he hoped the Constitutional Council will further clarify whether a senator has to be a registered member of a committee to sit in on interviews specifically.
The case is still pending. Hudson said she felt it was a conflict of interest to vote on the nomination of Eubanks.
“I have no ill will towards him, I would hope he has none towards me. When the case was first filed, I was shocked because he hadn't talked to me about it at all,” Hudson said.