Amendments put forward by Rosen
Published: Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, April 24, 2012 02:04
Student Union President Herbie Rosen ’12 and President-elect Todd Kirkland ’13 announced, in an email to the student body last night, seven proposed changes to the Student Union’s constitution. These proposals include the “incorporation” of a non-voting staff member from the Department of Student Activities into the Finance Board allocation process, increased communication between the Board of Trustees and the student body and transfer of the responsibility of the constitutional review to the Student Judiciary. According to the email, students will be able to vote on the changes next Wednesday from midnight to midnight.
The first proposed change is a “constitutional recognition and establishment” of Campus Operations Work Group. The Student Union would take responsibility for “facilitat[ing]” COWG and “advocat[ing] for improvements to campus facilities.” In the proposal, Rosen wrote that this change would give quad senators “a chance” to become more efficient by voicing “their constituents’ concerns directly to administrators.”
The second proposed change would only allow students who have served at least a semester in the Union Treasury or on the F-Board to run for the office of Union Treasurer. Currently, candidates for the position are not required to have this experience but are required to announce their candidacy “four weeks prior to the election” in order to partake in a mandatory four-week training session provided by the incumbent treasurer. However, current assistant treasurers are not required to undergo training.
According to Rosen in the proposal, the change would prevent newly elected treasurers from having a “honeymoon period” to become adjusted to the position by electing only candidates who have prior experience and knowledge of Union finances. In addition, treasurers would be able to focus on other responsibilities by not having to train candidates for the position.
Another proposal that would affect Union finances requires including a non-voting staff member from the Department of Student Activities in the F-Board allocation process. This staff member would provide “council and advice” on “student-programming ideas.” The F-Board would not be required to follow the staff member’s recommendations but would be able to use him or her as an information resource.
The fourth proposal aims to enhance “communication between the undergraduate student body and the Board of Trustees.” The changes would require the senior student representative to the Board of Trustees to serve on the Union’s Executive Board. In addition, both the senior and junior representative would prepare for the Board of Trustee’s meetings “at least two weeks prior” by “organizing some form of outreach to the student body.” This would allow students to communicate opinions and concerns to the Board of Trustees and would provide “several outlets” for the representatives to engage with students.
Also among the proposals is a change that would transfer the student-elected position of representative to the Alumni Association to an appointment by the Future Alumni of Brandeis from its own membership. None of the responsibilities of either the senior or junior representative would be eliminated but would be expanded to include “facilitating communication between the student body and the Alumni Association.” Rosen wrote that the position would be largely ineffective if the representative was not a member of FAB, which is “in place to foster communication and collaboration between students and alumni.”
The sixth proposed change would transfer the responsibility of the constitutional review to the Student Judiciary. In addition to the full review of the constitution held every four years, any undergraduate student may propose a constitutional change along with his or her reasoning in between the full reviews. The Judiciary would then either conduct a review or “be advised to present a proposed amendment or bylaw” to the Senate, if the majority of members agree that the “issue is a cause for concern.”
Currently, an independent task force performs a constitutional review every four years. The task force is composed of representatives elected or appointed by various constituency groups among the Brandeis community.
Rosen wrote that this change would ensure constant “monitoring” of the constitution so that the Union is “operating off of a ‘living’ document.”
The last proposed change would alter all gender-specific pronouns to gender-neutral pronouns in order to make all members of the student body “feel comfortable and accepted, regardless of their gender or identification,” according to Rosen in the proposal.
In the email to the student body, Rosen wrote that he would accept student feedback, and that should any student disagree with any of the proposed changes, they may send him a counter-argument no later than 5 p.m. on April 30.