Council “Empowers” Itself, Amends Amendments

Council Empowers Itself, Amends Amendments

This week’s council meeting kicked off with public input from Mariko Kuga, VC Internal of Thurgood Marshall College, and last year’s Marshall Senator on behalf of the ratification process of the A.S. Council bylaw changes.

“As a student I love feeling empowered and that my voice is being heard,” Kuga said. “What’s the point of having college councils if A.S. is just going to have a campuswide vote.”

I guess this meeting’s theme is “empowerment,” as it was repeated frequently throughout the rest of the meeting.

“I’m getting really, really empowered by my senator project, so I want to help share the love with my other senators if they haven’t started their projects yet,” physical sciences Senator Sierra Donaldson said.

No, not quite the empowerment I was thinking of.

During question time, VP External Affairs Vanessa Garcia asked, “How do you perceive our councils react to each other? A. Federal government and the state, B. as seven equitable governing bodies, or C. neither?”

I wasn’t the only one who was confused.

“Can questions be asked to questions in question time?” a senator remarked. Robert’s Rules indicated that it was fine.

Social Sciences Senator Colin King turned the questions of questions into something more philosophical. “What do you think is the difference between student empowerment and student leader empowerment?”

Really, they were going for empowerment after Kuga’s first introduction of it — yet all this empowerment they spoke of goes back to the conflict between the college councils and the A.S. council.

Marshall Senator Kathleen Maguire directed the difficult question to the question master himself by asking, “How would you, as a student leader, empower students?” She explains how she meets with students during office hours and makes a conscious effort to speak to people about the constitution and about A.S.

“I haven’t had time to empower students because I’ve been attending councils.” King said. Naturally, chaos ensued, so council moved on to the Reports of Members.

The subsequent two hours consisted of back and forth amendments to amendments, of which A.S. Advisor and Daily Operations Manager Hayley Weddle summed up my feelings entirely, “You can’t make amendments to amendments … or else it just gets too Inception-y.”

The back-and-forth amendments felt like Inception. VP Finance Sean O’Neal voiced my own thoughts: “Can we move the conversation forward and not talk about this amendment for three hours?”

Maguire then brought up what students who attended her office hours said in regards to the A.S. Council and college council conflict — “They [A.S.] are buttholes. Whose voice are you representing, other than your own?”

Strong language aside, she makes a point.

“I could spend all of my term to have A.S. spend money on a naked rave,” Maguire said.

Hold on there. Naked rave? What?

“Even though there was a lot of time put into something doesn’t mean it’s good,” Maguire finished before she was called out for being germane.

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