Step taken toward amendment

By Michelle Landrum and Mark McGowan

by and

Controversy about the relationship between the Student Association and DeKalb politics resulted in the first step toward a new SA constitutional amendment.

The controversy concerned the first clause of a constitutional amendment clarifying the position of former tenant union adviser to community affairs committee adviser.

Sen. Brad Strauss said the amendment was “mostly a good change,” but found the clause “unacceptable” because the amendment prohibits elected or appointed city or county officials from serving as committee adviser.

“The position is to act as a liaison between the SA and the city of DeKalb,” said SA Vice President Steve Coloia.

Sen. John Fallon said he did not want “a member of this body as a liaison with himself.” He said there might be a conflict of interest if the adviser served the SA and the community.

The SA deliberated over the language last year when former SA Pro Tem and current 6th Ward Alderman Jamie Pennington resigned from the senate in protest of the proposed amendment.

The second reading of the constitutional amendment failed, but after removal of the controversial clause, a first reading passed.

SA community affairs adviser Brian Subatich voiced his concern about the DeKalb Foot Patrol and its possible discrimination to students. In the past, uniformed DeKalb police patrolled the downtown area, but now undercover detectives patrol other areas, specifically John Street, Subatich said.

The patrol monitors parties for public displays of alcohol and watches liquor stores to prevent people from buying alcohol for minors.

The limitations of the foot patrol are “sort of sketchy right now,” Subatich said. “There may be some discrimination occurring there,” he said. Subatich said there has been no reports of harassment by the patrol.

The senate also approved a 40-cent per hour wage increase for employees of SA-funded organizations. Money for the wage increase will be taken from the SA general reserve account. The supplemental money is coming from a current 4-cent per credit hour increase in student activity fees.

In other senate business, Sen. Dave Ivers, a self-proclaimed “philosophical anarchist,” sat while the other senators were sworn in. Ivers said he would protest if the senate tried to swear him in.

Also, the senate has one open seat because an elected write-in candidate, Ann Rapp, was disqualified because she does not live in the district in which she was elected. Any student who lives in District 5 and wishes to run for the senate should contact the SA office.