College News

Student Council’s legislation timeline remains the same after failed vote

Student Council must continue to vote to suspend the rules in order to act on legislation the same meeting it is introduced.

Image By: Jon Yoon

Legislation that would have allowed Student Council to vote on resolutions at the same meeting that they’re 

.introduced was shot down Tuesday, forcing the body to continue with their previous bylaw.

Presently, the council cannot vote on legislation when it is introduced at the same meeting unless they motion to suspend the rules and have a two-thirds majority.

Technically, the body has not historically followed this bylaw, but the legislation considered Tuesday would have formally struck it.

Rep. Dylan Resch said this practice was “poor governance.” It would make more sense for the body to have the 14 days to consider a piece of legislation, talk to other council members and ask co-sponsors questions before voting, he said.

“I think we owe this responsibility to be representatives to the student body to give us enough time to talk with sponsors in an effective means instead of coming to council and asking these questions,” Resch said. “This stuff has two weeks to be thoroughly thought out and debated in that time.”

After a recent lawsuit on divestment, Student Judiciary is now requiring the body to act on the bylaw, meaning that resolutions must now be introduced at one meeting and voted on at the next. At the final Student Council meeting for the 23rd session, the body took up new divestment legislation which was voted on in that same meeting.

However — because Student Council didn’t vote on whether to suspend the rules for an overall vote on the legislation — opponents of the legislation alleged that the body did not follow the bylaw because they did not have the two-thirds vote. Student Judiciary agreed, citing the meeting minutes as evidence that the vote didn’t take place.

Still, proponents of the timeline legislation argued that representatives did not need two weeks to consider every piece of legislation brought forward. In fact, council voted to suspend the rules at the meeting Tuesday, allowing for all legislation — both old and new — to be voted on.

“Think about all the pieces of legislation that you saw tonight,” Shared Governance Director Jacqueline Beaulieu said. “How many of you really needed 14 days to have to think about it and talk before? With the rare exceptions where you do might need 14 days to talk to people, there is a process. You can table legislation to the next meeting. So I think it would be a lot better for us...to pass this bylaw.”

With a vote of 15-9-2, the majority of council voted in favor of legislation striking that bylaw, but the number of votes wasn’t enough for the bylaw change — which requires a two-thirds vote instead of a majority — to pass. 

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