Senate rejects SA plan on restructuring

The Student Association Senate rejected a resolution calling for a new SA constitution Tuesday night in the Marvin Center. The Senate then voted to send the bill back to the SA Rules Committee for further review.

The constitution, which was proposed by SA President Lamar Thorpe, creates a newly structured legislature that would consist of three councils – finance, campus life and academic affairs – and an ad-hoc rules committee that would approve nominees by the president and constitutional amendments. An executive board would oversee the legislature and the president’s office but the SA Court would not change.

Even though 17 members of the Senate voted for the plan, the resolution needed a two-thirds majority to pass, which was not attained, and the legislation failed.

Sen. Robert Platt (CCAS-U), who sponsored the bill, said the current Senate is an inefficient organization that requires change.

“I think its disappointing that people are willing to basically have another year of incompetence and ineffective,” said Platt, a sophomore.

Freshman Chloe Lew, who is a non-voting senator but spoke out in favor of the bill, said the Senate’s inefficiency could be accomplished without a complete restructuring. Lew called upon fellow senators to work together and cooperate, to achieve change without a new constitution.

Sen. Brandon Sherr (CCAS-G) had similar frustrations with Senate meetings that go on for more than three hours but do not provide all senators with the time to speak. However, Sherr said the new constitution, which creates a body with 46 members as opposed to the current 29, would not fix the problem.

“The reason we’re here until midnight, the reason a lot of us don’t get to speak is because there are a lot of us. The new constitution doesn’t change that,” Sherr said.

Vice-chair of the rules committee Sen. Kevin Kozlowski (ESIA-U) said he is upset that the resolution did not pass but said that the possible overhaul of the SA is an important issue that requires senators’ agreement.

He said, “It’s important that we have consensus.”

The material will be reconsidered by the Rules Committee and then may be referred back to the full Senate. When Thorpe initially proposed the restructuring last month, his intention was to have students vote on the restructuring in this year’s general election, which is taking place until Thursday night.

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