The Daily Pennsylvanian is a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

Student leaders left the final constitutional convention of the semester yesterday frustrated with the restructuring process and divided over several key issues. Much of the frustration stemmed from what delegates called a lack of direction in the proceedings. The delegates took the entire second half of yesterday's meeting to plan the dates and focus of next semester's sessions. Convention delegate Dave Anderman said he thinks many student leaders are discouraged by recent meetings because they are not long enough to produce concrete results. "I think we neeed to lock ourselves in a few marathon sessions where we will just hash out a final constitution," Anderman said. Undergraduate Assembly Chairperson Duchess Harris said delegates may be becoming impatient with the restructuring of student government "because they don't realize how the large the task really is." Several student leaders have repeatedly complained that too much time has been spent on discussing the focus of the proceedings, and too little on substantive issues. The first half of the meeting was spent debating a new plan for the future structure of student government. The proposal modifies an earlier structure sponsored by Anderman and fellow convention delegate Jon Wachs, integrating several ideas from other proposals. The new plan calls for a unicameral undergraduate assembly composed of 24 popularly elected representatives. In addition, the assembly would have one representative from each school and 15 representatives from Student Activities Council sponsored groups. The proposal also separates the SAC finance committee from SAC -- both would become separate assembly committees. The Nominations and Elections Committee would also be split into two separate assembly committees. Several key provisions of the new plan drew criticism from convention delegates. SAC Vice Chairperson Greg Shufro said he opposes SAC becoming an assembly committee, saying that it is effective in its current structure. "While I feel that there are grounds for tying SAC more closely to the UA, I am worried that this proposed structure will detract from an organization that already does a relatively good job," Shufro said. The proposal calls for the formation of an executive council to be composed of a popularly elected president and vice president. University Council steering representatives elected by the UA would also serve in the executive council. Currently a United Minority Council representative holds a non-voting position on UA steering, but this position would be eliminated in the new structure. UMC Chairperson Nalini Samuel said minority concerns have been ignored in the new proposal, adding that the proposal is "very inadequate."

Comments powered by Disqus

Please note All comments are eligible for publication in The Daily Pennsylvanian.