Members of the Students’ Association Senate began verifying lists of signatures from students supporting the new SA constitution Feb. 8.
“The idea was that the signatures were due last Monday so that they could be counted by the next senate meeting,” President of the Students’ Association and senior Pete Nabozny said. “If we don’t have enough signatures by Monday, we’re not going to give up.”
The constitution calls for ratification by more than one third of the members of the SA.
Senators have been collecting signatures since the Government Restructuring Committee endorsed the constitution last April.
Signatures were due at the senate meeting, a self-imposed deadline.
As of the senate meeting on Feb. 7, senators had gathered 1,393 signatures.
1,270 are required for ratification.
Through the verification process, the lists will be investigated for duplicate and alumni signatures.
“[Regarding Monday’s number] we hadn’t weeded out alumni signatures,” Nabozny said. “That [process] removed 60 to 75 signatures.”
The signature validation process requires searching for valid NetIDs in the student directory. If the NetID does not return a record, the name is then searched for in a list of enrolled students from the Office of the University Registrar.
Several names have already been thrown out due to unclear handwriting.
“We couldn’t read a few NetIDs,” Nabozny said. “We figured unless we could read it, it wasn’t important.”
By Feb. 9, the signature lists for the classes of 2005 and 2006 had been verified.
Only about 100 had been proven false, bringing the number to 600 approved signatures.
“We have more [signatures] from the freshman and sophomore classes,” Nabozny said. “If we got 600 from juniors and seniors, then I think we can get at least 671 from the other two classes.”
Senators junior Tyson Ford and freshman Hannah Geswein, with help from SA Chief of Staff and sophomore Alex Pearlman, are assisting Nabozny in the data entry process.
“It’s a very time consuming and labor intensive job but overall it’s worth it,” Ford said. “It’s been trying to get approved and accomplished for a long time.”
“The [Excel] database is divided by class year,” Nabozny said. “There is a record for each student with their name and NetID.”
Meeting the required number of signatures by the Monday deadline is not a serious concern for senators.
“If we don’t reach the number, then we’re going to collect remaining few definitely before Monday,” Ford said.
Providing that the number of verified signatures reaches the required amount, the ratified constitution will be brought before senate on Monday.
“At the senate meeting we’ll have a final discussion and vote to approve the constitution,” Ford said. “It will take a two-thirds majority to pass, and then it will be approved.”
Senate explained that the Monday deadline was necessary for ensuring the passing of the constitution.
“In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, [Monday] was the ideal date,” Geswein said. “New bylaws pertain to elections of senators. If we want to get them in place for the spring election cycle, this is the day to have signatures in.”
If approved, the Senate will begin implementing the new procedures.
“We need to approve all new bylaws, election procedures and guidelines,” Ford said.
In the event that the constitution is not ratified by May 25, the ratification process will have to start all over again.
“It’s going to get done,” Nabozny said. “It’s inevitable.”