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Yay ASUO Senate

Here’s the update on the ASUO Senate’s latest meeting that nobody cares about.

Big things to note:

The appointment of a new PFC-at-Large, Meili Yu. Congrats to her. It was quite obvious during her confirmation that the non-fiscally responsible senators were already trying to pressure her into being…liberal with money. As always, the resumes for ASUO appointees look great, but the real question is how well they will stand against pressure from the various political sides. My hope would be that Meili isn’t so easily pressured into just handing out money to student groups when they whine for it.

Senate also did a bunch of housekeeping in changing Senate Rules, which were largely corrections of clerical errors. One of the big changes that are worth noting are the addition of an Ethics Code (?) and the elimination of the clause stating automatic removal of anyone from Senate guilty of failing to perform their duties. Punishments are now decided through the censure process handled by the Con Court. Senator Boye and Jones tried to push through an amendment calling for the approval of the censure of a Senator to be required by both 2/3rds vote of the Senate AND the Executive before following through the Con Court. This would have insulated Senators from their actions too much, and given them the possibility of ‘presidential pardons’, as Senator Brown rightly stated. Sen. Boye was not willing to accept the removal of the Exec clause in there, and the amendment was voted down by about half of the Senate body.
This marked a commemorative moment for Senator Rajabzadeh, who has thus far (to my knowledge) been the quietest and most agreeable Senator, who voted Nay on the resolution. The mere fact that she voted against something is a step in the right direction. Congratulations!

Sen. Brodey seemed deeply invested in the resolution regarding the demolition of Mac Court, and as Senate was prepared to vote down the resolution again, she was almost at the verge of begging the Senators that voted the resolution down last week to rescind their previous motion.

I’ll take this moment to give the awards of the week:

Sen. Feldman took the “Most Common Sense Award” from incumbent Sen. Warnecke.
Sen. Brown won “Most motions regarding one agenda Award” and “Exceptionally Squeaky Chair Award”. Neil, I’m never sitting behind you again.
Sen.  Trippe for “Eager Rescinder Award”.
Sens. Gulley and Hernandez won “Useless Commentary Award”.

Don’t get me wrong, all of Senate is exceptionally wordy and tends to waste a disproportionate amount of time discussing how to approach or vote on an issue INSTEAD of the issue itself. However, when the Akha people human rights activist was speaking on his issue, Sen. Hernandez randomly brought up the point that ‘this is not the only case of indigenous people suffering’. True as it is, it is an irrelevant point. The issue is not whether these comments are true or not, they just were simply not germane to the discussion at hand. Sen. Gulley followed up with another irrelevant comment on how ‘the U.S. government has done this a lot.’ Ok. Save the commentary for Facebook, please, because it’s a waste of tapes, time, and Sen. Hatch’s cell phone minutes.

Last note: Nothing new, but none of the senators seem to have any respect for Robert’s Rules of Order. They are often speaking out of turn, and it leads to a lot of inefficiency and wasted time. Senate President Papailiou was trying to maintain order during the meeting, and was moderately successful. Both President Papailiou and the Senate body need to work on not being a big soup sandwich when it comes to enforcing and respecting the rules of the meeting.

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