Union Constitution amendments

By The Polytechnic Editorial Board April 2, 2018

Amendment I: support

The Polytechnic supports proposed Amendment I. This amendment to the membership and eligibility section of the Union Constitution was created to specify requirements for being an officer in student government, the composition of the Graduate Council, and membership for the Executive Board.

These amendments simply specify things which should be expected of a member of student government, make council operations smoother, and update terminology. The first section requires that the leaders of student government be a student of the school for at least one full semester, which makes sense as it is important that a candidate be already involved in the community. The section regarding graduate council membership just aims to allow the size of the graduate council to increase, which does not affect their voting power or representation and simply increases the number of people in the council so as to allow for more graduate students to participate. The section regarding the Executive Board simply removes the outdated moniquer of club/ICA representative to club and organization representatives as the Board now only represents clubs and organizations.

Amendment II: oppose

The Polytechnic does not support proposed Amendment II. The Editorial Board disagrees with the second section that would allow for the Graduate Council to make any changes it deems appropriate to its bylaws simply by a two-thirds vote of its membership. This would grant an unprecedented—and worrying—amount of power to the council.

This change is vague and uncalled for; during the Senate meeting in which it was presented, the Graduate Council could not give concrete examples of why it would need to make such urgent changes to its bylaws.

The Poly is not aware of any reasons why the Graduate Council should be able to forgo Senate approval, and it is troubling to think that the Senate believes it acceptable to break this precedent. The supposed check, through a presentation to the Senate in a “timely manner,” is an unclear and inadequate variation of the original process.

If the changes to the Graduate Council bylaws are straightforward and important enough that the Council believes it should be able to make them independently, going through the formal process for a check should be painless. Regardless, the integrity of the process should not be compromised for what seems like mere convenience.