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Senate passes resolution to amend constitution

Mel Flanagan | Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Student Senate unanimously approved a resolution to amend the Student Union constitution by adding instructions to fill vacant student government positions Wednesday.

Oversight committee chair Ben Noe said the subcommittee for constitutional reforms recommended several changes that he and his committee wrote into a resolution.

The first addition inserted a clause detailing the procedures to remove a committee chair. Previously, the constitution did not contain a way to remove a chair if necessary.

“This is kind of a problem because if committee chairs are slacking and not doing their jobs right, they may need to be removed,” Noe said.

The resolution also modified the instructions for the selection of the Student Union treasure.

“In the constitution the way the Student Union treasurer is replaced is that they appoint one of the assistant Student Union treasurers,” Noe said. “What if neither of the assistants are available to take the role of the Student Union treasurer?”

Following the amendment, if this scenario were to occur, the Student Union treasurer would have two options.

If he or she was available to serve another term, the treasurer could reappoint himself or herself. Otherwise, the treasurer can open the position up to applications from the student body.

“We thought this increased the transparency and openness of student government so we can get some people who have not been involved in student government for years at a time into the top positions,” he said.

Similarly, another clause opened up the positions of judicial council vice presidents to the entire student body.

While the judicial council president has the final say over who is selected as vice presidents, Noe said this step encourages students who have not previously been involved with the council to apply.

“Once again, this is with the intent of increasing the openness of student government,” he said. “We’re trying to make positions of some authority open to everyone.”

The last modification to the constitution eased the process of replacing officer positions.

“These changes are being made to make student government more open to the student body as a whole, and also to just make some technical changes that needed to be made,” Noe said.