Student leaders who expect to have their Sunday nights open for studying next semester will have to change their schedules. The constitutional convention, originally scheduled to last only one semester, will carry over into the spring semester. The convention has met six times already, as student leaders try to come up with plans to restructure student government. Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson Duchess Harris said that "the six-meeting format was only tentative." Harris said more debate is needed because convention delegates did not understand the complexity of student government. "The convention is not only about UA, but also about the other five government branches who all have 30-page constitutions and handle about $600,000," Harris said. Convention moderator Thomas Goldstein, director of the American Association of University Students, said that it is a "good sign" that the meetings are being extended into next semester because more debate on the proposal changes is needed. "The changes they are proposing could not be decided in 12 hours," he said. Goldstein urged convention leaders to plan campus-wide forums and meetings with student groups and administrators to get more students involved with the convention. Convention delegates are currently debating three separate proposals for restructuring student government, all of which call for significant changes to the current system. All the proposals call for the Nominations and Elections Committee to be eliminated. Nominations to Trustee and University committees would come under the control of an undergraduate congress. Two of the proposals place the Student Activities Council under control of the undergraduate congress. The other proposal calls for SAC to remain autonomous, but for the congress to control the SAC Finance Committee. Harris said that she hopes a new student government structure can be finalized by late February or early March. The proposal must be placed on a referendum and receive 15 percent student support for it go into effect. Harris said that she would like to see the referendum on the ballot for UA elections in early March.Comments powered by Disqus
Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.