On Thursday, April 10, the student body of RPI is expected to vote in the general elections to elect the next year’s Grand Marshal and President of the Union. However, this voting process is also used to determine if the majority of the students agree with the changes made to the Union Constitution. This document outlines the processes of RPI’s Student Government such as Senate protocols. While this motion is usually voted on with a single motion, circumstances have changed so that the student body must vote upon two different parts of motion, each of which will pass or fail individually. It was only until recently that this two-way split of the vote came into play. A third motion was being considered but was ultimately turned down on fault of a technicality. While both of the actual motions have passed through and been approved by the Senate, each one is now in the hands of the student body. Should the majority of the voting students pass the vote, it will be directly added to the Constitution. The changes will come into effect starting fall 2014.
One motion deals with approving the larger part of the Constitution which contains “friendly” changes, those which deal with grammar, spelling, and clarification of terms. However, the other motion deals strictly with the director of the Union. The latter motion change Article III, Section 1, which lists those officials who are officers of the Union. This change would make the director of the Union become a certified officer of the Union. This change formalizes what has historically been done. Current GM Chuck Carletta ’14 reports that he wanted the vote to split so that this controversial topic could be passed separately from an otherwise normal Constitution vote. He believes the document as a whole is a grand benefit for both Student Government and the student body. To the current GM, it is not ideal to risk the largely uncontroversial majority of the document for the sake of a single, volatile change.
Voting for these two motions will run from 9 am to 7 pm tomorrow, Thursday, April 10 at Darrin Communications Center, Commons, and the Union.