Council discusses deadline changes

By Markos Moulitsas

The composition of student representatives on the University Council was debated at Wednesday’s UC meeting.

There has been concern by the UC over the student delegation’s inability to fill all of its allotted slots. Although all student seats currently are filled, in years past that has not always been the case.

To address this issue, an amendment to the “Bylaws” has been suggested that would eliminate an April 15 deadline for the nominations to fill the seats. The amendment would allow any such unfilled seats to be filled by a committee of students already appointed to the council.

“I think these changes are a pretty reasonable attempt to rectify the situation,” Student Association President Abe Andrzejewski said.

He said the late meeting dates of some college’s student advisory committees, which appoint their college’s student representatives to the UC, was a major roadblock to the filling of all student seats.

Curtiss Behrens, executive secretary of the UC, said, “I wrote the deans of each college that they have somebody assist those committees. It’s something I’ll be looking at. We have a responsibility to help the students.”

Joan Greening, associate director of Career Planning and Placement, said “It’s been an ongoing problem, and we’ve been trying to rectify it.”

Several council members took issue on the question of a deadline, saying there were no provisions in the bylaws accounting for the possibility of the seats not being filled by the deadline.

Jerrold Zar, dean of the graduate school, said, “What happens if a student is not selected by that time (Sept. 10)? I’m not sure why a deadline needs to be indicated.”

Ian Baptiste, an education graduate student, said, “One of the intents of this is to get student representation, but if the deadline prevents student representation, it may have done itself in.”

Greening said the deadline would only be a guideline, and not an actual date set in stone.

Also discussed was a clause in the Bylaws allowing SA interference with the appointment of students to the UC in order to guarantee appropriate student representation of minorities and women, while at the same time putting limits on the amount of students that can serve from each college.

Article 4.322 of the Bylaws states, “The list (of students serving on the UC) may be supplemented by the Student Association only when such names are needed to achieve an appropriate balance from women, persons from minority groups, international students, and graduate students in the student delegation to the University Council.”

Article 4.325 forbids more than three students from each college to serve on the council.

Baptiste said, “Article 4.325 can hurt the representational process. There are quite a number of international students, minorities and women in some colleges, and the limitation could hurt their representation.”

Baptiste also took issue with the groups specified in article 4.325, saying they were inclusive. He suggested alternate wording to give future groups the opportunity to receive like consideration.

Andrzejewski said, “We’ll look at some of his (Baptiste’s) comments and look into streamlining the appointment process from the colleges.”

Students have 15 of the 47 voting seats in the council. Eight of the seats are appointed by the SA, while the other seven are chosen from each college.