Amendments

Amendment 1 — No

Constitutional Amendment 1 seeks to clarify the classification of A.S. senate candidates as freshman, sophomore, junior or senior. The logic behind this amendment is that with the increase of students entering with many AP units and an increase in transfer students, it is difficult to determine who can run for which senate positions

This amendment would address the ambiguity by taking the decision out of the A.S. Council’s hands and leaving the decision up to the individual colleges to formulate their own election regulations. It also seeks to give the colleges more autonomy as to who it can allow to be a senator for each class level.

The Guardian does not support this amendment. We believe it would subvert the interests of students and create more problems.

With individual colleges able to create their own by-laws in choosing their senators, colleges with more lax requirements would be able to attract prospective student leaders to them, depriving the other colleges of this leadership. This may then force colleges to compete for student leaders, relaxing their by-laws too. This could, in turn, cause an imbalance in the quality of leadership at the five colleges, which would directly affect quality of student life.

Secondly, and more generally, the student councils at the colleges are less experienced than the A.S. Council in writing these by-laws.

For these reasons, the Guardian does not endorse this amendment and urges students to vote against it.

Amendment 2 — Yes

Due to widespread apathy on this campus, the Guardian endorses Constitutional Referendum Question 2. The referendum makes it easier for the A.S Council to amend its constitution, something councilmembers have unsuccessfully tried to do for the past several years.

The question eliminates a requirement that the council produce a petition signed by 15 percent of the student body.

While we support the system of democracy and feel the students should have a voice, student apathy has in the past made it difficult for the council to amend its constitution.

Currently there are two ways to bring a referendum to vote. The first is a direct referendum in which 15 percent of the student body is required to place an issue onto the ballot for a vote or it can be voted on by the A.S. Council, requiring two-thirds majority for passage. Once it goes to the ballot, it then requires a majority vote of the students at UCSD.

A second way bypasses the ballot but requires much more effort. This second way, which is affected by this amendment, requires three-fourths of the A.S. Council, three-fifths of the colleges and 15 percent of UCSD students to sign a petition. This amendment would discard the petition requirement.

When councilmembers have solicited student signatures in the past, they have done so on Library Walk and have offered free blue books. They are present to answer questions, but most students do not take the time to understand what they are signing, they only sign and take their bluebook. This process is meaningless and should be bypassed.

Another aspect this amendment touches on is the required three-fifths of the colleges to vote. Currently there is no requirement to approach all the colleges with a referendum. For example, Tesh Khullar, the A.S. President last year, approached only the required numbers of colleges, completely leaving the others out of the loop. This amendment, beyond merely removing the 15 percent requirement, would require that all colleges need to be approached with a referendum.

The A.S. Council constitution only affects students indirectly, but it affects the council directly. Amendments are usually made to make the council run more efficiently. Therefore we believe the council should make those decisions.

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