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More Info on Amendments

I posted earlier today about ASUO Exec Sam Dotters-Katz’s proposed amendments to the ASUO Constitution. Well, Daniel Bachhuber brought it to my attention that maybe some people don’t understand what the hell the Daily Emerald and I were talking about. Explanation:

First of all:Here is the full text of the proposed amendments. These proposals will be sent before the ASUO Constitution Court to be decided on*. If approved, they will be added to the ASUO Constitution, the governing document of the Associated Students of the University of Oregon. Dotters-Katz is proposing four main amendments:

  1. Would increase Senate oversight and transparency of the Constitution Court. New or amended Con-Court by-laws would have to pass Senate. All Con-Court decisions would be required to be in line with University Policy. Also, it would make the votes of individual justices public. Finally, it would force the Court to issue rulings on grievances within 10 days. Currently the Con-Court must only “endeavor” to issue rulings.
  2. Would institutionalize the Diversity Plan into the Green Tape Notebook (the rule book for the ASUO). The rationale is to “demonstrate the ASUO’s commitment to issues of diversity and under-represented communities.”
  3. Would reduce frivolous grievances by requiring them to be served in person. Currently, grievances can be filed through email. Submitters of grievances would also have to present oral arguments before the Con-Court, which they are not required to do now.
  4. Would make Election Board rules have to be approved by Con-Court. Currently the Election Board has no checks or oversights on its power. It would also require the Board to rule on campaign grievances in a timely fashion.

That’s the gist of it. Now here’s the opinion part: Amendments I and IV are desperately needed. Con-Court and the Elections Board are an embarrassment. This was proved amply enough last election season, when things got certifiably FUBAR.

I am somewhat ambivalent to Amendment III. It would stop some politically-motivated skulduggery, but it would also make it harder to file a serious grievance. In effect, it would act like a buffer.

Amendment II is basically just enshrining feel-good pablum into the Green Tape Notebook. (Remember when Virginia apologized for slavery? Yeah, it’s kind of like that.) Also, the ASUO can’t stand to fall behind the administration on diversity. (Because how can you yell things about “institutional racism” when the institution already has a diversity plan and you don’t?)

*Does it seem funny to anyone else that the Con-Court is deciding whether or not to┬áput more checks on Con-Court’s power?

  1. Daniel says:

    Thanks for the context, CJ. The one addition I might suggest would be a pie chart comparing amount of time ASUO spends on discussing how it operates internally vs. the amount of time ASUO actually accomplishes what it’s supposed to do. I honestly don’t have a clue.

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