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Hallahan pushes for resolution

Maureen Reynolds | Friday, October 10, 2003

Student Body President Pat Hallahan introduced a resolution at the Student Senate meeting Wednesday which would, if passed, make three significant changes to the Student Government.

First, the resolution would grant Student Government the authority to approve the budget to be transferred to the Executive Cabinet. Second, it would allow for three senators to be seated on the Executive Cabinet and the Vice President to be granted voting authority on the council. Finally, the resolution would give sole power to amend the Student Union Constitution to the Executive Cabinet.

Hallahan said he placed this resolution in front of the Senate for two specific reasons. He would like the resolution passed before his report to the University’s Board of Trustees, scheduled for next Thursday. He said this would be a strategic move in garnering more cooperation from the administration.

“If we can say we are moving in the right direction [in fostering cooperation within the Student Government,] then we have more power and opportunity with the administration to ask them to make changes also in cooperating with the Student Government,” Hallahan said.

Hallahan said the second and more important reason for the resolution is simply to make the Student Government a more efficient body as a whole.

“It just makes sense,” he said. “I don’t think anyone disagrees with the idea of working together with all the groups in Student Government.”

The current body of the Executive Cabinet is comprised of members from every committee in the Student Government except the Senate.

In seating members of the Senate on the Executive Cabinet, it would, in effect, create a new committee, which is exactly what Hallahan wants to see happen.

Ultimately, this body would become the Council of Representatives. In the long-term plans for Student Government, this body would be the main committee in the government, with members from every council.

“I think the thing we want is to get people from every student group at one table at a new setting,” said Hallahan. “I want that group to be charged with making the entire student union more effective.”

With such a goal in mind, Hallahan commented that, at least, he would like to see the Senate pass the sections of the resolution calling for Senate members to sit on the Executive Cabinet and for the Executive Cabinet to be given the power to amend the Constitution.

“If we give that power [to amend the Constitution] to this group, we can get a lot done,” Hallahan said. He continued that two sections of the resolution “are the two most important things.”

The section regarding the budget could possibly be held in the Senate for further discussion at a later date.

The passage of the two sections to which Hallahan is devoted could likely happen at the special meeting the Senate has called, scheduled for Sunday. They decided on the extra meeting in order to try to come to some conclusion about this resolution before Hallahan’s report to the Board of Trustees.

However, Senators expressed concern of handing over such large powers to what would be a new body.

Jana Lamplota, Pasquerilla West Hall Senator, said, “I was a little skeptical of being introduced to this idea so quickly. I need more time to think about it and to consider not only the Senate’s authority but the new body’s authority. I’m still considering all the options.”

Hallahan did comment on the possibility that the Senate could fail to approve either or both of the two sections he would like to see passed.

“Well, I think, first of all, if [the Senate doesn’t] pass it, it will be a major statement to the student body that Senators are choosing their own interests over the interests of the student body,” he said.

“If we don’t pass it on Sunday, we’re going to pass it in the near future. I have every expectation that the Senators and everyone else will come together and realize that this is best for everyone.”