ASG passes first Constitutional Amendment over Zoom

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The ASG amendment passed at ASG introduced an amendment to the process of altering leadershipWednesday’s meeting. It seeks to alter the procedure on making changes to ASG’s executive board positions.

Daisy Conant, Assistant Campus Editor

At its final Wednesday session before the election of a new president and vice president, Associated Student Government successfully passed a constitutional amendment to update the process for implementing new executive structures. The Zoom call marked the first time the Senate has passed an amendment virtually.

Proposed two sessions ago by SESP junior Soteria Reid, ASG’s executive officer of justice and inclusion and an ASG presidential candidate, and Carl Morison, a Weinberg senator and sophomore, the amendment seeks to alter the procedure on making changes to ASG’s executive board positions.

The amendment would create a procedure for reforming the structure of ASG leadership, such as adding or removing positions. As it was proposed, either four members of the executive board and five senators or a petition of a hundred undergraduates could propose the reform. The structure would be implemented as a pilot program for a year unless it causes “substantial harm” to the organization.

“Evolving problems on campus require adaptable and tried and true solutions, and this provides a very strong framework of how to implement that and how to keep exec up to date with the needs of the student body,” Morison said.

Former parliamentarian and current Political Union senator Elizabeth Sperti, a Weinberg sophomore, took issue with the provision that allowed the pilot program to be suspended by a motion sponsored by at least one-half of the constitutionalized members of the executive. Sperti cited concern about the amount of power it granted the branch.

She then moved to propose an amendment striking the section, allowing only senators to endorse a suspension.

“Let’s be real, exec operates behind closed doors in a lot of ways,” Sperti said.“I really think giving the executive power to have some influence over that decision is really dangerous.”

Reid defended the section, noting that as the amendment affects executive positions, they should have a say in any decisions made about those positions. She also highlighted that the suspension must be passed by three-fourths of the Senate, granting them power as well.

Sperti additionally proposed reducing the majority needed to pass to be two-thirds as opposed to three-fourths.

After about 40 minutes of debate, the Senate passed both proposed changes to the amendment, then passed the amendment in its entirety.

Speaker of the Senate Matthew Wylie then issued a general order to discuss any needed responses to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the university, opening the floor to questions and updates.

SESP senator Daniel Rodriguez asked if the administration had provided any reasoning as to why they formally rejected financial support from the CARES Act, as well as whether the University is considering providing pay to non-work study student workers who would normally have jobs on campus this quarter that they are unable to fulfill remotely.

ASG President Izzy Dobbel noted that as of now, she has not received any updates on paying student workers who are not eligible for work-study, but added they are meeting with Vice President of Student Affairs Julie Payne-Kirchmeier Friday and intend to inquire about the University’s financial decisions.

“It’s very reactive, because it changes everyday,” Dobbel noted.

The Senate also swore in two new Senate Officers, Weinberg sophomore Wylie and Weinberg freshman Zack Lori. Wylie, the new speaker of the Senate, was sworn in on a book about Russian hunting, and Lori, the new parliamentarian, was sworn in on a framed front-page New York Post clipping of the Yankees 2009 World Series victory.

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Twitter: @daisy_conant

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