Revamped ArtSci Council passes new constitution

| Staff Reporter

Though less than 5 percent of eligible students voted, Arts & Sciences students approved the ArtSci Council’s new constitution on Tuesday, giving the group the expectations and structure necessary to move forward.

Passing with over 75 percent of votes, the Council can now begin to plan events for the College of Arts & Sciences community.

Although the adoption of the new constitution lays the groundwork for the Council’s future, its leadership is keen on keeping the Council active and incorporating student suggestions and feedback.

As the largest undergraduate division at Washington University, the College of Arts & Sciences was previously the only division without a council to program and advocate for its students. With the official formation of the ArtSci Council, Student Union vice president of administration, junior Mike Holtz, believes the Arts and Sciences community will be brought together in new and meaningful ways.

“It’s not just about a constitution and passing that. It’s about creating a structure and formation for a council that will help the ArtSci community come together—that was our goal and our vision,” Holtz said.

This is not the first time an ArtSci Council has functioned at Washington University. Before its current iteration, the Council existed for several years before gradually fading out over time.

“We originally had an ArtSci Council. It was not elected by the entire student body of Arts & Sciences, and over time that Council, in a sense, fizzled out. By last year, there was essentially no ArtSci Council. Student Union Exec appointed a temporary person to take the role of president, but there were no events, there was no council—it wasn’t really functioning,” Holtz said.

Freshman Carter Paterson, president of the ArtSci Council, believes that the new constitution will ensure the Council remains a consistent body dedicated to serving Arts & Sciences students.

“The document we’ve created is meant to enforce responsible leaders who are here to do their job and represent the student body. ArtSci Council 2.0 is essentially the career, programming and academic initiative that the previous council didn’t really complete. We want to fulfill that and maintain it,” Paterson said.

Although the constitution provides the essential framework for the Council, it also includes new ways to keep the student body involved in decisions. For example, students will now be able to petition the Council to plan events or adapt new policies on a variety of issues.

“One of the interesting things that we’ve got is an initiative process, which no other part of Student Union that I know of has. Students will be able to submit a petition, and, if the Exec board approves of it, you can have an event, policy or stance taken by the Council. So, it’s just a cool way that a student, if they have a petition, can make change pretty immediately,” Holtz said.

Despite the low voter turnout, students like freshman Jack Stephens expressed excitement about the additional representation the Council will provide.

“I’m glad they got it passed because it gives us more representation, and, when you read through it, they’ve really thought through it well,” Stephens said.

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