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Members pass resolution creating Council of Representatives

Maureen Reynolds | Thursday, October 16, 2003

Senators passed a resolution forming the Council of Representatives from the Executive Cabinet at the Student Senate meeting on Wednesday. The resolution, similar to the one that failed to pass at the Senate meeting on Sunday, calls for four Senators to sit on the council and, along with the Student Body Vice President, to be given voting membership. Also, the resolution transfers the power to amend the Student Union Constitution to this new body.

The resolution, which needed a two-thirds majority to pass, was approved by a vote of 18 to 1, with 3 abstentions.

Cavanaugh senator Jordan Bongiovanni presented the resolution at Wednesday’s meeting, but she said after the meeting that it “came out of Senate as a whole from discussions at the two previous Senate meetings and Monday’s Executive Cabinet meeting.”

Bongiovanni told Senators during the meeting that the resolution was changed from the original to reflect their concerns.

“We took out things that Senators didn’t feel comfortable with, and added some things to make the resolution better,” she said.

Among the changes was the removal of the amendment stating that the power to approve the budget would be given to the Executive Cabinet. Also, the resolution explicitly forms the Council of Representatives, something that the first resolution did not do.

Bongiovanni said that this formal creation of the body came from the “changes of composition and purpose of the Executive Cabinet,” including the new members and powers.

Furthermore, the resolution now mandates that the Council of Representatives must present all Constitutional changes to the Senate prior to final approval by the Student Body President. The purpose of this requirement, according to Bongiovanni, is to have a formal requirement of communication between the Council of Representatives and the Senate.

During the meeting, Keough senator Chuck Anthony called for another amendment to the resolution requiring the Senate to periodically review the Council of Representatives’ powers and giving Senators the authority to revoke any power of the Council of Representatives by a three-fourths majority.

Anthony said that the need for this amendment came from a “need for a check on the [Council of Representatives],” even though, he continued, “It’s not something we would need to use often, but only if [the council abused their powers].”

However, Senators failed to pass this amendment by a vote of 11 to 10.

Senators passed the resolution with the required two-thirds majority vote, and Bongiovanni said that this was a step towards greater efficiency within student government.

“We want to show that we’re consolidating ourselves … We’re trying to mirror the Campus Life Council by forming an inclusive body,” she said.

Work on the Council of Representatives will start as soon as possible, said Student body vice president Jeremy Lao.

“Once we get back from fall break … the Senate will elect members for the Council, and we’ll get started with any more constitutional planning. The first meeting [of the Council of Representatives] could be the Monday we get back from fall break, but it will probably be the week after that,” Lao said.