The Students’ Association Government Restructuring Committee is nearing the completion of a new constitution following several months of research. The committee is composed of senators, cabinet members, All Campus Judicial Council justices, Students’ Association Appropriations Committee members and Class Council representatives.”This new constitution will clarify the roles of the different branches of government and the interaction between them,” Deputy Speaker of the Senate, Government Restructuring Committee chairperson and junior Pete Nabozny said. “We have done a better job of defining the executive and legislative branches so that each has specific powers and they are not duplicating work. Overall, the new constitution will help the government be taken more seriously.”Both students and faculty have been critical of the SA government in recent years. Many people did not feel that the government was doing an adequate job representing students and promoting student life. “I think everyone will agree that the SA Government did not work so well last year,” senior and SA President Chris Calo said. “We feel the reason was simply a breakdown in communication between the executive and legislative branches. For this reason, we have tried especially hard to work together. We have essentially combined the previously redundant advocacy efforts of those two branches into the standing Senate Committees.”The idea for the combination of advocacy groups and a restructuring committee grew out of an SA government summit last August. Since the formation of the committee in November, committee members have interviewed students and administrators, assessed the current problems facing the SA government and examined how other universities have their governments organized.In addition to more clearly outlining the focuses of the executive and legislative branches, there are several other notable changes. Starting with the spring 2005 SA presidential elections, students will vote for a joint presidential and vice-presidential ticket. “I think that the application process for the Chief of Staff position is valuable, because it allows the president to consider someone who they otherwise may not have thought of for the position to express interest,” junior and Chief of Staff Ilana Kaplain-Shain said. “However, replacing that position with an elected vice-president gives more legitimacy to the office when working with administrators.”There will also be several notable changes affecting the senate. The size of the senate will be reduced from 16 to 24 members to 10 to 20 to make it a more manageable size. Additionally, instead of having spring and fall elections for senators, only freshman senators will be elected in the fall. All other senators will be elected in the spring. Also, the current constitution states that meetings will follow parliamentary procedures. The proposed constitution does not state the manner in which meetings are to be carried out, so the body can choose what it believes to be the most effective procedure.In addition to the changes impacting the senate, bylaws to be adopted with the constitution are likely to include changes to seat allocation. The current setup elects senators from residential areas, classes and the university at-large. A new structure of representation will likely have senators from classes, the university at-large, Greek organizations, athletics, and SA recognized groups. This will allow groups to have a more active role in making the decisions that affect them.Director of Student Activities and Wilson Commons Anne-Marie Algier looks forward to the new government’s success. “This is the best crossover attempt that I’ve seen for the SA government,” Algier said. “Everyone is working towards improving the flow and structure of government,” she said. “The government was struggling because they were not able to be effective. Students get involved on this campus for the right reasons – to get things done – the way the government is currently set up is not conducive to that and it has hurt the government’s ability to be helpful, which frustrates students.”Nabozny and ACJC Chief Justice and senior Erica Contini wrote the proposed constitution using the input from the committee members’ discussions and research. The current draft of the constitution is available for students to review and comment online at the Hive’s main Web site at http://www.sa.rochester.edu. Additionally, students are encouraged to participate during the Government Restructuring Committee’s weekly meetings on Tuesday nights at 10 p.m. in Wilson Commons 122.Ratifying the new constitution will require the support of over 50 percent of the student body. Instead of having a “yes” or “no” vote on adoption, the committee members plan to circulate a petition for students to sign. The petition system will allow committee members to educate students on the changes to the constitution and why it should be supported.If adopted, it would be the first successful ratification of a new constitution since the 1970s. The new constitution would not be fully implemented until the 2005-2006 academic year in order to allow time for transition, when new bylaws can be written that will allow the new government to function. Some issues that the committee debated include the impact of one’s residential area on their student activities, how the SA government should be structured and the role of class councils as programming versus advocacy groups.”The committee looked at answering these crucial questions,” Calo said. “They deliberated for several weeks, and many group members produced proposals for improvement. I am confident that their final product will be a vast improvement to the SA Government. But it will never be perfect – it’s an ongoing process of analysis and improvement.”Keesing can be reached at jkeesing@campustimes.org.



An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.

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Yellowjackets baseball beat Hamilton College on Tuesday and RIT on Friday to the scores of 11–4 and 7–4, respectively.

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