ASB leaders proposed a constitutional change regarding disciplinary action taken against ASB, Board of Directors, Student Senate and the Media Board. The constitutional change went before the student body on Feb. 19 and did not pass.
The constitutional change looked to revise Article V of the PLNU Constitution of the Associated Student Body, which deals with the ASB Student Leadership Lifestyle Agreement.
The change meant striking out the line “If found guilty of possession or use of drugs or alcohol the service recipient will be immediately removed from their position.”
Haley Courtney, ASB vice president, was the first to propose the change.
“The new constitution change will lay out specific protocol to make it fair for the student leader found at fault instead of having to navigate difficult gray areas regarding punishment,” said Courtney via email. “The constitution change lays out protocol for how to approach monetary payment for students found at fault, students who want to get their position back, and students who want permission to run in the election or be considered while applying for any ASB position in the following election cycle. These processes are meant to protect student leaders from biased punishment.”
Students, however, were less enthusiastic about the change, and the results of the election ballot showed that the change was not passed. Nate Hamill, a senior business administration- marketing major was one of those who did not agree with the change.
“I think the rule doesn’t hold leadership of the school to a high enough standard,” said Hamill via email. “Having a 10 percent dock in pay and only a possible removal of office seems like pretty light consequences for a clear breach within the student conduct rules. The passing of it just doesn’t really make sense to me, and I wish that these proposals were explained more before the vote took place so people could have been more aware of them and better prepared to vote on them.”
Currently, any students who are caught in possession or under the influence of alcohol or drugs must go through a four-week program with Dean of Students, Jeff Bolster that uses a restorative justice model.
In this model, the first week is devoted to assessment to determine high risk for abusive dependency using a Substance Abuse Subtle Screening Inventory (SASSI) program. In the following three weeks, the student meets with Bolster, his or her RD, RA and Academic Advisor to “give them a chance to think about why they’re here and who they want to be,” said Bolster.
If a student is part of ASB or a service award recipient of ASB, they not only go through this process, but also another because of their leadership position. According to Courtney, “If an ASB member gets in trouble for alcohol, they are immediately removed from their position and have to petition to get paid for the semester found at fault.”
Though the student body turned down the constitutional change in the last election ballot, plans are already underway to rewrite the change to make it more appealing.
“I am currently in the process of re-writing it with some changes proposed that would make the protocol more strict than what was laid out on the election ballot, but would still allow for a student leader to appeal should they get in trouble,” said Courtney. “I will keep everyone posted on the progress of the new change, and I would encourage students to remember that just because a student is in leadership, it does not mean they are perfect.”