Referenda relating to the Union Constitution: No

After discussion, the Editorial Board of The Polytechnic has elected to endorse no on all three Union Constitution-related questions.

The first question asks voters to ratify the Constitution amendments as passed by the Student Senate. Included in the amendments are issues we generally feel are positive changes. For instance, we feel that raising the number of Executive Board members would be beneficial to the student body at large. However, we took issue with the wording regarding the E-Board providing hiring recommendations to the director of the Union, rather than the Board simply approving the hiring of administrative personnel. We overwhelmingly take pride in the fact that the Rensselaer Union is completely student-run, and we disapprove of any changes to the Constitution that may lead us down a path diverging from that.

The second question we endorse no on relates to the director of the Union being an officer of the Union. Similar to our stance on the first question, we feel that the Union should remain 100 percent student-run. Whether or not the director currently performs the tasks of an officer is immaterial; we think putting it in writing will drift from the intended purposes of Student Government, which are to run the Union, top to bottom.

The third question asks the electorate to approve the quorum of a removal election being raised from 20 percent of the student body to 40 percent. While it would be an unfortunate case to have elected a Grand Marshal or a President of the Union only to remove them, we feel 20 percent of the student body is more than enough to have an accurate sampling of students’ feelings. We understand that, in the event of a removal election, it’s unlikely for one belief to be represented asymmetrically to its relative support base. Because of this—and keeping in mind that there is no physical incentive for voters, a major draw during Grand Marshal Week elections—we feel that the quorum level should remain at 20 percent.