College News

Lack of representative turnout results in abrupt adjournment of student council

Low turnout of representatives in student council Wednesday evening delayed both the start of the meeting and the passage of legislation.

Image By: Cameron Lane-Flehinger

A lack of representatives at the Associated Students of Madison student council meeting coupled with a lack of communication caused the council to be called late and adjourn mid-session Wednesday.

The council barely made quorum before they called the meeting 53 minutes later than the usual starting time, and adjourned after passing no legislation. 

As the council waited for their colleagues to achieve quorum, the body listened to a presentation given by three University Health Services representatives on the Color of Drinking survey. 

While the presentation came to a close, the number of representatives rose to the 15 needed for quorum. Due to the absence of the Chair Billy Welsh, Vice Chair Yogev Ben-Yitschak led the council. 

Legislative Affairs Committee Chair Laura Downer introduced the meeting’s first piece of legislation, which offered  salary and term related amendments to the existing Vote Coordinator position.

The Vote Coordinator’s role is to promote engagement in local elections, while organizing relations with civic engagement groups and advocating student voting accessibility. 

The legislation proposed that the appointment would be made by the student council as a whole, instead of just the Nominations Board, increasing the salary by 15 cents and extending the position’s term length by four months.

“These amendments to the position description of the Vote Coordinator clarify and focus the responsibilities of the position to better align with the grassroots organizing and advocacy mission of ASM,” read the proposed legislation.

The second piece of legislation was introduced by Nominations Board Chair Adam Fearing. Due to the lack of clarity in the Nominations Board bylaws, they have been operating without the official approval of the student council. 

These bylaw discrepancies came up when Sophia Alzaidi, a student interviewed last spring by Fearing for a Student Services Finance Committee seat that she did not receive, filed a discrimination complaint against the Nominations Board last fall. 

Although the Student Judiciary found the issues reported problematic, yet not legal issues. They ordered student council to resolve the inconsistency in their bylaws. 

After the council voted on whether to suspend the rules and reach an immediate decision about the proposed legislation, Rep. Dylan Resch left the room, terminating the council's quorum and forcing adjournment. 

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