How to vote: 2011 Fall Student Union elections
This week, students will have the opportunity to vote on a variety of constitutional amendments for Student Union. These amendments need a two-thirds majority to pass. The issues are important, and it is important for students to be aware of the potential campus-wide consequences of the votes.
Amendment 1—Remove the equipment committee
This amendment resolves to remove the equipment committee from SU’s Constitution. While removing a committee would generally seem like a big deal, Student Life recommends voting “yes” for this amendment. Why? Because the equipment committee does not even exist.
The equipment committee came into existence in the spring of 2009, and its purpose was to manage equipment operated by student groups. The committee would take inventory of all equipment the student groups owned, and it would facilitate the sharing of this equipment. However, Student Union found this committee useless, and it is thus now defunct. The Student Group Activities Committee (SGAC) now performs the function of the former equipment committee. The SU constitution should not have language authorizing a committee that no longer exists, and that’s why we support this amendment.
Amendment 2—Change the overseer of the Diversity Affairs Council (DAC)
The goal of this amendment is to officially make the vice president of administration the new advisor of the DAC. The council, since its existence, has officially run under the vice president of programming but has recently been working with the vice president of administration.
The DAC came into existence in response to the Mother’s bar incident two years ago, when several black students on the senior class trip were refused entry to a bar in Chicago, allegedly based on their race.
At the time it seemed appropriate to have the DAC exist under the vice president of programming, because they were tasked with coordinating the programming that resulted from this event.
In the past several years, however, without a huge amount of diversity-based programming, the DAC has become less of a presence on campus, and the group has been working mostly with the vice president of administration.
We support this amendment. We believe that the DAC should be directly under the position it works most directly with, but the group should take this move with a grain of salt. We think the DAC should be a larger campus presence, and it needs to do more as a part of SU, even if it is not focusing on programming.
Amendment 3—Reduce the size of Student Union Senate from 28 seats to 22.
We believe that this amendment deserves a yes vote from every student. Reducing the size of Senate by 6 seats will make the process of becoming a senator much more competitive and results-oriented, rather than allowing it to continue as a simple shoo-in election every term.
People against the amendment believe that fewer senators will result in fewer projects completed—projects, such as Syllabi Central, that have been started by senators. However, we believe this fear is unfounded. Senators do not need their titles to enact change on campus, and if they are voted out, they can still participate in their projects.
The benefits of changing the size of Senate in order to make it more effective and competitive outweigh the potential costs of fewer people involved in the process, so this amendment deserves a yes vote.