Student Senate

Discussions begin on changes to Union constitution

Editor's Note: This article was meant to be published on January 17, 2024.

The Senate put forward a new amendment to the Union Constitution that would allow any member of the Union to run for Grand Marshal or President of the Union, rather than restricting the position to members of the Student Senate or Executive Board. In addition, successors to any elected position within the Union would have to be voted on by the student body during GM week.

The amendment was put forward following the chaotic confirmation of Catherine Phillips ‘24 as the successor to former President of the Union Ava Gallagher '23G last month. Due to Gallagher’s graduation in the fall, she resigned as President of the Union and Philipps was appointed to the position by the Executive Board. Several members of the Senate believed that this appointment process undermined the voice of the student body, and wished to give more public input into officer titles within the Union.

After failing to pass a motion to limit the number of times a senator could speak during the meeting, discussion began. Clarifications were made regarding the meaning of the new amendments. While anyone within the Union, including students on their Arch Away semester, would be able to run for President of the Union or Grand Marshal, candidates would still have to be approved by the Student Senate for the position.

During discussions, other members of the Senate put forth concerns regarding the attempts to change the Union constitution, noting that amendments to the Constitution before have led the administration to attempt to create more changes. In addition, some argued against the notion that an election process would be an effective way to give the student body a voice, given that members of the Senate and Executive Board were already elected by the student body to represent them.

A motion to leave voting on the amendment until the next Senate meeting on January 22 was approved. The discussion ended after the queue was empty. The last day for the Senate to pass this motion is February 20.

This Senate Meeting was held on January 8. The Senate meets every Monday at 8 pm in the Shelnutt Gallery.