ASB is moving into the final processes of rewriting the 2010 constitution that governs the student body and will present its final rewrites to the students at the end of this year. ASB Vice President Robert Contreras found in his review of the current constitution at the beginning of his term that what was written on paper was not necessarily being followed.
“In law, there’s something called effective rule,” said Contreras to The Point in December after his Student Senate stipend review. “Something becomes effective rule when it’s actually being followed. We don’t have effective rule over the campus.”
Contreras said this led to a reevaluation of the constitution’s effectiveness and multiple changes.
“In the first [Student Senate] meeting, I said the way we’re going to do things this year is a little different from the way they were laid out in the constitution,” said Contreras. “We’re changing the constitution; we’re basically saying the constitution doesn’t work.”
In his stipend review meeting, Contreras said that Student Senate was not operating according to the old constitution.
“I forwent the constitution for Student Senate this year. I’m trying to fill a student senate that works and then write that in,” Contreras said to the Student Senate.
The rewriting of the constitution is the undertaking of all of ASB but falls mainly on the shoulders of Contreras who has been establishing changes in Media Board and Student Senate.
While the constitution is under construction, the Student Senate operates under the duties outlined in their handbooks, which are also undergoing the revision process, and the Student Leadership Lifestyle Agreement (SLLA).
Contreras is in the process of writing out the duties of each position within ASB and outside of ASB, such as those positions held within the Media Board. He has given out articles of the new version to his Student Senate members for review.
Senator Nick Kjeldgaard, a junior, explained how this is a process prevents error and ensures that everything in the new writing is feasible.
“[Rob] has members review the language and the subjects [of each article] just to make sure that it makes sense,” said Kjeldgaard.“The rewrite updates the constitution to reflect how ASB has operated in the past few years.”
With the OK of the Director of Community Life Jake Gilbertson and Student Senate, Contreras went ahead with the process and will present the rewrites to the student body in April.
“Our goal was to update the constitution so that it better meets the students needs,” said Gilbertson. “The whole point is to simplify it and make the language cohesive.”
At this point, the document has gone through revisions with Student Senate and the ASB Board of Directors, but there will still be a final revision process that involves the entire student body.
The final document will be posted on the website for a week for student feedback. At the end of the seven days, students will vote electronically to pass or veto the rewrites.
Gilbertson said though the document has passed through multiple hands, ultimate say lies with the students.
“If the students don’t vote to pass the revisions, we’re stuck with the old constitution,” said Gilbertson.