In the last meeting before our new senators are inaugurated, the Student Assembly passed the Constitutionally Accountable Executive Act, the Abstention Amendment, and the hotly contested Collegiate Readership Act.
The Constitutionally Accountable Executive Act, passed 18-0-2, amends the SA constitution to allow all members of the SA, excluding members of the executive office of the president, to be impeachable. Prior to this change presidentially appointed secretaries could not be impeached by the senate. The change also eliminates a clause that required elected officials convicted of an honor code violation or a College judicial code violation to be considered for removal. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Matt Beato ’09, even said that the clause violated state law in requiring students to disclose their violations.
Beato also sponsored the unanimously passed Abstention Amendment, changing the SA constitution to appropriately classify abstentions as abstentions. Prior to this, abstentions were basically considered more powerful no votes. For example, in the situation of a 10-9-1 vote, the bill in question would fail even though a 10-10 vote would be considered a tie. With the change, abstentions will now have no weight on the bill’s decision.
Before graduation, Beato will present his amendments to the graduate and undergraduate councils in order to fully ratify them. I usually try not to get too mushy in my posts, but it was sincerely heartwarming to see Beato’s attempt to perfect the code that he knows and loves before he leaves the College. Personally, I could give or take most codes, but it was just nice to see some real emotion on the senate floor.
At this point it was a little after 9 p.m., and with only one bill left on the agenda I was feeling pretty good about getting out of there as soon as possible and finally getting to write a nice positive blog post. The SA responded to my foolish optimism by having what seemed like a seven hour debate over the Collegiate Readership Act and then just passing it 14-4-2 as if everyone had been in agreement the whole time. Ignoring for the moment why anyone would think this bill is a good idea, it’s just a common courtesy to call to question if you have the votes and to stop repeating whatever stupid point that you’ve been making for an hour. Even a more necessary courtesy is to shut up about all the problems you have a bill if you already know you are going to vote for it.
The actual legislation is equally offensive. Instead of the usual inactivity that normally results from a bill’s passing, the SA just charged each six dollars for two shitty papers and a good paper that I read for free online. You can read about the specifics in my “February 3 post”:http://flathatnews.com/blog/46/student-assembly-bulletin/69837/sa-subscribes-college-newspapers if you’d like.
It pains me to say that the 900 students who voted yes on this bill when it was up for referendum played a major role in getting it passed. Apparently there are 900 students on this campus who either don’t have internet access or are completely unaware that all of print media is going completely bankrupt. The sad part is that things like this blog (probably not _this_ blog) have brought newspapers to their knees and lazy people like you and I, who enjoy writing and reading on the internet because it’s more convenient for us, somehow end up being punished for it.
Congratulations everyone! You go to a school with a subscription to USA Today.