The Student Assembly’s Code Revisions Committee met Sunday to discuss various new proposals and to continue deliberation over proposals made in previous meetings. The main focus of the meeting was to discuss how to make the Undergraduate Council more efficient.
The meeting began with a suggestion from Sen. Dan Ackerman ’16, who mentioned revising the attendance policy, particularly for graduate students. He said that oftentimes undergraduates’ and graduates’ schedules are different, so the committee should respect that.
The committee promptly moved into discussion of the Undergraduate Council. They debated possible solutions to the problem of the council’s inefficiencies, as well as the idea of dismantling the Undergraduate Council altogether, increasing the Senate side of student involvement, and making the class president position more of a Senate role.
Sen. Yohance Whitaker ’16 proposed that instead of taking apart the Undergraduate Council, it might be more beneficial to give the council more purpose and clearer responsibilities.
“If we said [Undergraduate Council,] your purpose from day one is to start raising money for your class,” Whitaker said., “that would make it more clear: Here’s what my office is, and here’s what I’m here to do.”
Ackerman also countered the proposal to dismantle the Undergraduate Council altogether and said that there is a minimum number of students needed to keep the process going.
“When we get rid of these positions that freshmen get elected to, we also limit the positions for freshmen who remain involved, and then eventually we’ll have less and less people who have experience with things like writing bills,” Ackerman said.
Ackerman added that he believes the Undergraduate Council will never be able to achieve the same level and size of programming that the executive branch of the SA conducts.
To decrease the inefficiencies of the Undergraduate Council, other suggestions included not eliminating it altogether, but morphing the organization into the executive branch.
Another concern raised was that Student Life does not have any undersecretary positions and focuses too much attention on programming events. SA Vice President Kendall Lorenzen ’15 talked about adding another position to the student life department of executive branch.
“We can add positions as needed,” Lorenzen ’15 said. “So it changes year to year.”
Council members also discussed Student Life increasing its manpower and staff to sustain the level of activities and programs they provide to the student body.
Additionally, the committee discussed allowing SA campaigns to hang one or two banners rather than just giving out pamphlets in the next election season, provided that rules about banners’ locations are followed and election committees are equipped to take action if these rules are violated. Candidates must also now get election commission approval before creating an email chain or a listserv.