Representatives for the 2004-05 school year were sworn in by Judicial Council chair Brin Anderson at Wednesday's Senate meeting - the first of the new term. The senators took the oath of office, in which they swore to work to fulfill the duties of their office, exercise the highest ethic and preserve the constitution of the student body, before they moved on to their first orders of business.
The new group quickly got down to business, delving into the issue of the new Student Union Constitution. Outgoing student body president Jeremy Lao presented his argument against Article V of the document, which may come up for Senate debate in the future.
The amendment would create an Executive Programming Board to handle the student government event calendar. Lao, however, argued the group would be redundant, as 10 of its 12 members also currently serve on the Council of Representatives.
"There is definitely a parallelism of officers," Lao said. "It is in my best judgment that the Council of Representatives should set programming. Before it was COR, the Executive Cabinet had the responsibility of setting the calendar ... and with stricter guidelines and timelines, I believe that set-up could work with the Council."
Lao also said that because the Council of Representatives oversees the Collaboration Fund, which holds approximately $15,000 for events and activities, the top leaders serving on that body should know exactly where the money is going and what events are being planned.
Faculty advisor and director of the Student Activities Office Brian Coughlin explained that the procedure for Senate and the student body president to follow is slightly unclear. In the past, the president has had 10 days to approve an amendment, after which the document would head to the Student Activities Office for examination. Lao, however, only had the Constitution for a matter of hours before his term expired, and the vetoed article was passed to new student body president Adam Istvan.
Istvan, meanwhile, is away from campus due to a family emergency and does not have access to the document, even if it was decided that he had the power to pass or veto it.
"This is very complicated, and there is even debate over whether Adam has the power to sign it since it was not created under his term," Coughlin said. "It would make the most sense for Senate to just redo the article and send it to Adam, if that's what you eventually decide you want."
Cavanaugh senator Jordan Bongiovanni expressed concern over the incompleteness of the Constitution, which is expected to be printed by next week.
"As it stands, no one is designing the event calendar," Bongiovanni said. "That is pretty disastrous."
In other Senate news:
u The Senate passed three resolutions at the end of meeting, each of which displayed emeritus status on Lao, vice president Emily Chin and chief of staff Patrick Corker, respectively.
u Gay Straight Alliance president Joe Dickmann returned for the third consecutive Senate meeting to encourage the new senators to post the letter of support for the GSA in their dorms so students could sign it. The Senate voted unanimously to sign the letter at last week's meeting.
u Next week, the Senate will vote on which senators will serve on the Campus Life Council, the Council of Representatives, the Financial Management Board and the Judicial Council.