The Student Union amends its constitution
The Student Union reviewed its constitution after a three-year period and voted on 33 proposed amendments.
This year, a committee of Student Union members gathered for the constitutional review process, which the Union holds every three years. The committee proposed a total of 33 amendments, which students voted for on April 29. President-elect Krupa Sourirajan ’23 said at the last Union Senate meeting of the academic year that the results of the voting would be released soon, though she did not specify a date.
The Brandeis Undergraduate Student Union Constitution, along with the Student Union Bylaws, are the governing documents of the Student Union. Any policy enacted, fund granted or election held by the Student Union must follow exactly the rules and procedures specified in the 12 articles of the constitution.
Article I, containing three sections, is titled “Supremacy.” It establishes the legitimacy of the Student Union and its right to represent all undergraduate students. Essentially, this clause gives the Union the right to exist. Chief Justice Sophia Reiss ’23 proposed the only amendment to this article, which fixes a typographical error.
Article II, titled “Union Senate,” has four sections. This article describes the Senate’s powers and how the Senate should be formed. It also gives terms for holding Senate office and establishes the position of Executive Senator.
Section 1 of Article II lists the six powers and responsibilities given to the Senate as the legislative body of the Student Union. These are, put simply, to represent undergraduates, legislate constitutionally, maintain the Senate Bylaws, recognize and charter clubs, confirm Executive Board appointments and serve on Senate committees.
Sections 2 and 3 list the types of senators who may apply for certain positions and term limits. Each senator, except the Mid-Year Senator, has a term limit of one year. Sen. Joseph Coles ’22 proposed and President Kendal Chapman ’22 submitted an argument in favor of an amendment to Section 2 which increases the number of Senators-at-Large from two to three in order to have an odd number of senators.
Section 4 establishes the position of Executive Senator, currently held by Coles. The Executive Senator is elected by a plurality vote in the Senate and has a range of roles. These include training new senators, covering for the Vice President during any absences, making agendas for Senate meetings and managing the Senate budget. Coles, who was the Executive Senator for the 2020-2021 academic year, also submitted an amendment to Section 4. This amendment extends the term of the Executive Senator to one year and empowers the Senate to remove them by a two-thirds vote.
Two of the proposed amendments –– to Article III Section 5 and to Article IX Section 8 –– were mistakenly left off the ballot. The Union has yet to issue a correction or a new ballot.