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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Proposed senate reforms causes lengthy meeting

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Baraha Elkhalil
Senator ( ) discusses senate reform at ASUA’s weekly meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 18, 2015.

After a three and a half hour long meeting, the ASUA Senate finally reached a decision about  proposed senate reform. 

The senate spent most of the meeting fixing grammar issues and rewording amendments for clarification.

However, a few significant changes were made to the proposed reform in terms of which college students can run for.

Associated Students of the University of Arizona Sen. Joey Steigerwald said he didn’t agree with the part that says students can only run for the college they hold the most credits in, as opposed to letting them choose. 

Concerned about students abusing the system, ASUA Sen. Elena Gold said she was worried students will declare a major in the college where they feel they have the best chance of being elected. 

“Will that necessarily be a bad thing?” Steigerwald said. “That’s a huge hurdle to go over just to run for senate. If they’re that passionate about wanting to be on senate, then maybe they can do it. That just seems crazy that someone would declare a whole other major just to run for senate.” 

Gold said that declaring a major is very easy because a student really only has to meet with their advisor. 

The senate then discussed, at great length, the issues regarding how long a student needs to be declared in a major in order for them to even have a choice between colleges. 

After striking what the amendment previously said, the senate unanimously voted to change the amendment to say, “Students will be eligible to run for the college of their choosing, given that the student has declared a major in the college at least the semester prior to the beginning of the election period.” 

Further changes that were discussed involved the publication of information regarding the candidates, with some claiming formal publication was unnecessary.

As opposed to leaving it open to interpretation, ASUA Sen. Michael Finnegan said he wanted a definitive statement on what the senate should do, saying that otherwise they were taking away the students’ basic human rights to know about the changes. 

Gold and Finnegan debated which restrictions and specifications should be made and mentioned in the constitution and how the changes would be available for every student to see.

After extensive and prolonged debate, Finnegan seemingly began to filibuster by extending and reiterating his points, over and over again. In addition, Finnegan called a few divisions, meaning after a vote, a roll call is held and each member says whether they vote: aye, nay or abstain.

ASUA Sen. Will Box tried to offer a compromise: He suggested an amendment making a viable media option accessible to all students. He then made a motion to limit discussion to one to two more minutes as a whole. 

Finnegan then called for another division and said that since he lifted his cue card before it was approved, he wanted to speak about his point of discussion. 

Then, finally, after making many changes to amendments in the proposed constitution, the senate unanimously voted to approve the senate reform.

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Follow Chastity Laskey on Twitter.

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