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Sunday, February 25, 2024

Student Council hears new ASM constitution logistics

Student government heard legislation proposing a new Associated Students of Madison constitution at a meeting Wednesday night that calls for a complete restructure of the current student government institution.

The proposed constitution would establish four different branches of ASM, which include the executive, legislative, judicial and appropriations branches. These would replace the institution’s three current branches: Student Council, Student Services Finance Committee and Student Judiciary.

Former ASM Constitution Committee Chair Sam Seering, who proposed the new constitution at the meeting, said that while the judiciary branch would remain similar to its current form, changes to the other branches would significantly improve ASM operations.

Currently, Student Council is responsible for both student outreach and legislative affairs. The new governmental structure would split these responsibilities between the legislative and executive branches, which would “create a more efficient organization,” according to Seering.

“You would have the internal structure being debated in the [legislative branch] and the peer executive branch working on external relations and really trying to connect with students to make sure that ASM is relevant and working on issues that students want them to,” Seering said.

Former SSFC Chair Matt Manes spoke in support of a new ASM constitution in open forum.

“Structure is where ASM has consistently failed year in and year out,” Manes said. “And that is because structurally [it is] set up to fail. [ASM] may have the greatest leadership, and [it] may all work together fantastically, but [its] success will be hammered by [it] structure.”

The legislation calls for Student Council to approve the placement of the constitution on the ASM Fall 2012 ballot, making the document subject to a student vote.

ASM Chair Andrew Bulovsky said the resolution must receive at least 2/3 votes in two consecutive Student Council meetings to be placed on the fall election ballot.

Also during the meeting, members paid tribute to recently deceased UW-Madison student John “Vietnam” Nguyen by watching a YouTube video of his song “If a Minute Would Reverse.” Nguyen apparently drowned in Lake Mendota Aug. 30.

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