Senate tables IAC review

By Mark McGowan

The Student Association Senate tabled a motion Sunday night to allow the Internal Affairs Committee to review and accept or reject resolutions to be brought before the senate.

Sen. Rob McCormack said the motion to change the SA bylaws was an “essential building block to becoming a respectable voice of the students. It’s crucial for the SA to improve its efficiency, professionalism and credibilty.”

The IAC’s review would confirm facts, improve wording, clarify the purpose and correct grammar and spelling. They also will ensure the resolution is in accordance with SA bylaws and is appropriate subject matter for the senate to address.

However, if the IAC rejects a resolution, it can be overturned by a senate majority vote. A provision for “emergency” resolutions also will be included, which would allow matters which occur after the IAC’s Wednesday night meetings to reach the senate floor Sunday.

Many senators said they feel the motion is a “power grab. I will not approve this without some changes,” said Sen. Rob Ferrera.

Sen. Mark Harkness said he was not in support of the motion. “We can’t be hindered by our bylaws,” he said. Harkness later told the senate he believed part of the SA bylaws “do not exist” and motioned for the tabling so he could investigate the matter.

“(The) IAC should not be able to pigeonhole us,” he said. Harkness said if the SA tabled the motion until next week, “We (the SA) can make a good decision.”

SA Vice President Steve Coloia, who is also IAC chairman, said the motion actually reduces the IAC’s power. “I’m really insulted by the fact that you think IAC is trying to get more power,” he said.

McCormack said he is confident the motion will pass eventually. “It’s (Senate Speaker John) Fallon’s position to protect the senate from any such power grab,” he said. “And John’s in favor of it.”

Sen. Brad Strauss said he is not accusing the IAC of a power grab, but said they are “giving 10 senators (IAC) control over 45 senators. If they’re worried about triviality, we can vote it down.”

Strauss said the motion was “the lesser of two evils” but cautioned that it “needs to be looked into seriously. IAC needs to ask themselves, ‘Is this right? What are we doing?'”