After three hours of debate and deliberation, the Undergraduate Student Government passed five new pieces of legislation, rejected two and sent one back to the Legislative Review Committee on Thursday, Oct. 18.
The Eligibility of Class Representatives Act, presented by Senator Mallory Rothstein clarified what defines a freshman, sophomore, junior and senior in the eyes of USG, when it comes to electing class representatives. After confusion arose among students wanting to run for class representatives during the last election, Rothstein said that he felt there needed to be a concrete way to decide.
“My definitions went with what the university policy and standards are,” Rothstein explained to the senate.
The act states that the number of completed credits will be the only determinant when it comes to class level of students. This means that students with 0-23 credits will be eligible to become freshman class representatives, students with 24-56 credits will be considered sophomores, 57-84 credits will constitute someone as a junior and students with 85 credits or higher may run for senior class representative. The same rules apply to students voting for class representatives.
“There are a lot of loopholes, but this is the best way to take it out of USG hands and avoid judgement calls,” Rothstein said. “You can find so many ways to say that someone does not represent you.”
The act also states that these definitions of class standard are subject to change, in accordance with university policy.
“Of all the options we explored during committee, this was definitely the best,” said Senator Ryan Heslin.
The senate adopted The Eligibility of Class Representatives act unanimously.
The Senate Proxy Reform Act, vetoed by former President Mark Maloof in the spring of 2012, was brought before the senate by Senator Kenneth Meyers.
The act states that no appointed officers from the executive and judicial branches of USG can serve as proxy for a senator during a senate meeting. This includes executive office staff, agency employees and members of the elections board. The Senate approved the act unanimously after minimal debate.
The Clarification in Impeachment Act, which was returned to the Legislative Review Committee, states that no member of USG may physically or verbally assault, blackmail, influence or threaten any member of the student body. The Legislative Review will be responsible for coming up with a channel of communication through which the information of an assault must pass to assure that the senate hears about the situation.
The Clarifications in Appointments Act was also presented by Ken Myers after being vetoed by former president Mark Maloof. The act, approved unanimously, required that candidates for USG appointed positions must appear before the senate unless they deem their presence unnecessary, or their absence excusable.
An Amendment to the Election Law posed that the candidate’s party coalition will not appear on the ballot before students. The amendment, originally posed by former senator Nick Ela in the Spring of 2012, designed to eliminate the “coattails effect,” by which people, who did not campaign, were elected simply because of their party affiliation. The senate rejected the amendment.
The Agency of the Student Activities Board Reporting Act was also rejected by the senate. The act would have required the Director of ASAB to appear before the senate once a month to present all activity of the ASAB. The act was originally posed last spring after a serious lack of communication occurred between USG and SAB. The senate rejected the act, feeling that the monthly report from Vice President of Student Life should include the activity of SAB.
The senate meets weekly at 7 p.m. in the Student Activities Center. Meetings are open to all students and include an open agenda during which anyone can voice concerns.