Credit hour amendment suggested

By Sean Noble

Student Association President Jim Fischer presented his proposal of an NIU constitutional bylaw amendment to the University Council Wednesday specifying six credit hours as the requirement for the SA president to serve on the council.

In a special meeting called to examine proposals for bylaw articles one through 12, Fischer asked council members to specify the minimum number of credit hours required per semester for the SA president’s UC eligibility.

In a memorandum outlining the amendment, he stated he believed the change “would resolve the ambiguity in our governing documents.”

Fischer referred to the conflict that arose last semester when it was realized he was carrying only six hours.

While article 4.21 of the constitution stated the SA president “shall be a voting member of the University Council,” article 4.23 stated students on the council must carry a minimum of nine credit hours per semester.

Last month, the UC Rules and Governance Committee voted to confirm Fischer’s status on the council. William Monat, regency professor and council member, said, “The university constitution and bylaws unambiguously appoint the SA president as a UC voting member.”

Fischer said, “Three out of the last four SA presidents that I know of didn’t carry any more than six hours (per semester).” He said the work involved with the SA president’s position is extremely time-consuming and makes it difficult to carry more than six hours.

“(If) we truly believe that it is important for (the SA president) to serve on the council, it seems that we should look at the past history to see if the proposed bylaws are consistent with this belief and the general practice of students who hold this position,” Fischer said in his memo.

Fischer’s amendment, the task force’s proposed bylaw and the old constitution all stipulated student representatives on the council be of good standing, regarding academics and payment of fees.

The task force’s proposed bylaws were part of the constitutional revision process chairman Jim Giles said has been ongoing for two years. The council will discuss the remaining bylaw articles March 1.

The council voted to take Fischer’s amendment into consideration. The amendment might become an action item for final approval at the COI’s next regular meeting March 9.