Reformers who want an ASG vice president and other changes must wait until later to see whether the required constitutional changes will pass, as opposition pushed Wednesday’s Senate meeting beyond its time limits.
After a four-hour session, ASG senators approved a code amendment to reform the governing body, but postponed a vote on related constitutional amendments — upon which the code changes depend.
The code amendment outlines the powers and position of the Vice President, who would take on some duties previously held by the President and Executive Vice President and serve as a liaison to administrators, according to the proposal.
The new code would also make nominal changes: the Executive Committee would be renamed the Student Advisory Board; the Treasurer would be the Director of Internal Operations; the Financial Vice President would be the Director of Finance.
The 24-7 vote surpassed the two-thirds majority necessary for the code amendment, and took place ten minutes before the meeting’s end. A number of changes to ASG President Neal Sales-Griffin’s proposed code amendment were approved in the discussion before voting took place.
The new position and name changes are the only would-be additions to the constitution, which would remain “mostly intact because it is sacred,” Sales-Griffin said.
Sales-Griffin’s proposal from last week spelled out all amendments under the Constitution, but students at a forum on the subject last Thursday raised concerns over the integrity of the document.
Similar arguments were made Wednesday, as opposition emerged — in contrast to earlier voting on the agenda, when student group de-recognition appeals and allocation of senate seats comfortably passed the two-thirds-majority barrier.
Senior Cassie Witten stepped up a few times to argue that instead of adding bureaucracy, changes to ASG’s work “can happen within the framework we already have.”
“I didn’t hear in there any reason to add the positions that were added in the code,” said Witten, who has been a senator for the last two years and a half. “Every year as soon as a president gets in, they look at the constitution and try to revise it. It never goes to effecting any change and I think it’s unfortunate that once again ASG is going to continue to remain irrelevant because they can only look within themselves.”
Executive Vice President Vikram Karandikar described the amendments as “a call for help” to the overwhelming functions of the president and the executive vice president, while Sales-Griffin said that the “opportunities” they create are “way greater than the costs.”
“I’m just passionate about this school and what’s best for it,” Sales-Griffin concluded. “We clearly know what’s best and we trust Northwestern and we trust the students to believe in us.”