Student Senate passes new Constitution

by John Budnik '05

October 25, 2004

Wabash had a Convention but nobody came.

Nineteen of 33 Senators attended the convention which adopted a Constitution to govern Wabash students. No other students attended, despite the convention being promoted both in the Bachelor, online and being on the calendar. At times the Student Senate struggled to maintain the needed 17 members for a quorum.

However, since the Senate has been operating without a Constitution, many felt one should exist. The new Constitution was adopted with a few changes and a little heated debate

"More senators were concerned with how long the meeting would take than were concerned with the issues," said Kevin Pazour, the representative from Morris Hall (campus dorm).

Senate President Brandon Hayes ’05 opened the convention by thanking the constitutional committee for their hard work. 

The first proposal after the opening came from Senate Secretary Timothy Flowers ’06, who moved the entire Constitution be adopted un-reviewed. The motion was seconded, but failed to pass.

Beta Theta Pi Representative Ross Dillard suggested that the Senate carefully review the Constitution before passing it, fearing the document might unnecessarily restrict the Senate’s actions in the future.

Dillard’s concerns were largely unpopular.

"Stop wasting our time," Ryan Feeback, Representative of the Class of 2005, said.

"Is this Constitution according to Dillard?" Flowers asked.

After summing up his concerns, Dillard didn’t take action to make changes.

The Representative of Tau Kappa Epsilon, Senator Andrew McGlothlien pointed out that with the changes Theta Delta Chi fraternity would lose their voting rights, since they most likely have less than 20 members in their living unit. However, their representative, Andy Leshovsky, was not in attendance to oppose the new rule.

Student Senate Activities Committee Co-Chairman Ben Kitterman moved to strike a section which required the SSAC to submit an itemized budget and another provision which required the committee be made up of members of every living unit. The motions eventually passed.

Kitterman said the itemized budget requirement would "significantly limit" the ability of SSAC to get a national (entertainment) act. He said the committee needed budgetary flexibility and it would be unreasonable to think they could get enough members of the living units together to accomplish anything.

Flowers said the reason for the rule was a result of the SSAC going $10,000 over budget last school year in order to get the band Chevelle. However, Flowers agreed that SSAC needed a certain amount of freedom.

Kitterman also discussed the possibility of getting a guarantee that the SSAC would receive a certain percent range of funds each semester. However, it was pointed out that Dean Bambrey makes sure that $75 from student fees goes to SSAC and that number couldn’t be changed by Senate.

Gann said that technically the college didn’t have to collect fees for the Student Senate and therefore, the Senate was not completely autonomous in their budgetary decisions.

Now that the Constitution has been adopted, it will be sent to the living units for ratification. Two-thirds of all living units must ratify the Constitution for it to be instituted by the Senate.

John Budnik is a senior and Managing Editor of The Bachelor, Wabash College's student newspaper.


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