USG Town Hall
7:54PM Nov 13, 2019
undergraduate student government
Today's just must be there.
yeah, if the students vote now what are you still going to try to get rid of the judiciary branch?
No. So, great question actually,
based on constitution, we USD can never make a decision have to change something in the constitution without
input. So if the Constitution is voted know that we will not need a missionary and they scan
as a body when he was just so
your name is Alice.
So, I noticed in the notes of the changes yet, you've mentioned that impeachment are now going to start three fourths consent from the Executive Council in the Senate.
Yeah, that's the significant
change and increase in the required number of senators. So I was wondering, why did you guys increase that from two thirds to three fourths? That's
a great question. And I'll actually defer that to Justin O'Neill, who's the VP of academic academic affairs. And he also
was very crucial in drafting
constitution with the rest of the Senate. And
so if you look at
the rough draft
look at both the rough draft and
we'll see actually, I was originally three forces
with the old constitution had a typo air. Yeah. So so but that was still the law then for us. Even though it was a typo you saw to abide by that.
yeah, so the problem with your Bible, however the old Constitution and the working constitution with all highlights red and green
shows all the changes with an added
show that the whole process you need both
depending on the branch report is both the other the opposite and then
which is fine.
So you can actually reference it
right there by the court say
does Okay, let's just talk about sort of the rationale behind us.
changes with the Constitution.
So I think the biggest issue for us is the fact that the Constitution was written about 10 1112 years ago. And any organization within that given time frame changes structurally functionally. And in addition to that, the USG constitution also mentioned documents like, you know, the Sunni Chancellor guidelines, also mentions, you know, we also have to make sure that we're aligned with New York State labor and wage laws and also, you know, just general Stony Brook University policy. And after 10 years, you know, any document becomes outdated. So we really wanted to make sure that one, the document that we follow, and that the undergraduate student government, which is not just you know, the EC and senators, but every single Stony Brook University student pays into the Student Activities fee is obligated to follow. So we want to make sure that our procedures matches the governing documents of the state, federal and, you know, Stony Brook rules. But on top of that, we wanted to make sure that what is written follows our practices as well. And you know, it's good to have, you know, congruence, congruence between what we do, and we are supposed. So let me give an example. So how many of you voted during the elections last semester, and are voting this semester? So, I was a senior last year, but because I was a super senior, based on my credits, I wasn't really able to vote for my senior classroom. I think that's, and it's not because we personally, you know, did that, you know, intentionally but rather, it's because the system that we use is out is not, it can't be adjusted to fit how we run our elections. So instead of changing the entire system, what we decided to do was change the actual A breakdown to make it more representative of how the students vote, and what our system can actually hand. So instead of a senior not being able to vote for a Senior Class Rep, now everybody can just vote at large for the senators that they feel
represent them most appropriately,
regardless of class, regardless of major, regardless of affiliation. I think that's very important. And it gives students more voting power. So anybody from so much College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, so say CS center, they're able to vote for, let's say, I believe it's at most 11 senators because 10 Cs senators plus a freshman, you know, a classroom. On the other hand, a college of engineering Applied Sciences, Senator, students can only vote for their three College of Engineering and Applied Sciences senators plus a Class Rep. So you see the, you know, the disproportionate number right there one of those students can vote for 11 representatives while the other students can only vote for five, know that disproportionality is unsettling, because every student should have equals.
Yes. So I noticed a lot of students express that they're like how we could
vote on individual amendments. Yeah. Why
now? Well, one, I think it would overwhelm the voting system that we use right now. If we had to make 250 yes or no tabs on solar. I don't think people would vote.
That that's a hassle
period. On top of that, if you will get some of the the footnotes in our Constitution because we are adding and removing clauses a lot of them are you know, fix the clause numbers. Would students do you think like logically what students want to vote on every single individual change the constitution, like I think it was better To make it one broad based election, where students have the option to read documents, cheat sheets for me, so that students can get a more you know, concise version of the Constitution and also, you know, they have their happened promotion to out on both Facebook and Instagram. So, you know, there's information provided and ultimately the students have the right to vote yes. And the students have equal right to vote no. So I think that's, it's like, balance. That's
250 total changes.
I don't quote me on that number. I think there's a lot more than that.
So we get to 1614.
Um, can I ask, how long did you guys have been working on implementing these changes yet so
many changes yet to be within our Guys like changing our products
as a new Muslim, like working on the new constitution working on this version of the Constitution since we
got elected into office. So I've been informed about the different issues with the new SG, like day one after, you know, spring elections, but I made the Executive Council aware, the start of the summer. So we've been in constant communication, not just with, you know, Executive Council, but also our advisors, a deeper net Christina, as well as our executive, our Administrative Director, rain assignment. So you know, over time then being involved with USG for so long they've pinpointed some places where you will relax on top that we provided the constitution to
our legal counsel,
Colin indictments, and they were actually able to me gave this out during the senate meeting. It was a it was a sheet with specific recommendations as to where USG is not confined within your stable and where we have to change that. So we've been working on this for Lyft for about five, six months, it's it's very deliberate, it's very cautious and very articulate in the sense that we didn't make want to make changes that were
rash. Okay. So, you know, when we're students notified that they were going to be voting on this refer and
the students were notified, I believe. I think the information was sent out Friday at the I we released the constitution to the Senate the Thursday before. Okay, can I
ask them why it took you guys five to six months to work on these changes what students were only given about a few days to review these changes to decide whether or not they want to vote on them.
So so the changes were released during senate meetings. So any students who attended Senate is the contribution that we can provide that information. And we do understand that the time frame is very limited in the sense as to how when we provide the information to this new party, but if that we were waiting for ultimately with the final word, on the final draft of the Constitution from the lawyers to make sure that our language was inclusive to make sure that the language we use wasn't confined to New York, St. Paul. So I think that the bureaucracy is the nature of bureaucracy really slowed us down. In that sense, we would have ideally like for this information to go out to the student body lot earlier, but we were restricted in factors that we really couldn't control.
Well, we could control but if we just were not able to release it inside.
If that is the case, why is it that maybe the election was extended further, like a larger voting period or you can release the Constitution now saying said at the end of semester we're holding referendum?
Yeah, so the election timeline is actually voted upon by the election board, which is a separate entity outside of USG senate and Executive Council. So we want to make sure that there is a division between the elected members and those who control elections because if they're combined, there's there's there might be a conflict of interest where, you know, the people who are being voted upon control how elections are actually run. We shouldn't be the case. So I think that because the elections board already set the deadline for not just the constitutional referendum, but for the senators that were running for, you know, senior class revenue, freshman class rep, we really couldn't interfere with that wouldn't be fair to the candidates that have been petitioning and then also going out and campaign. But ideally, if if, if if, you know, we have a chance to be like, yeah, let's push back elections, two more weeks.
We would have done it. But it's really to make sure that we operate in a fair manner, not just within USG, but to the students that want to be perfect.
You said that you've known that you were going to make changes the constitution since day one, but we had an Associate Justice tell us that he was blindsided by the changes. Why weren't they notified?
Why were the members not notified about the constitutional changes? Yeah. So they weren't notified when we were actually making the changes but once the changes the first draft was We call it we actually had a sit down meeting with multiple members of the judiciary, whoever was free to come. And we were able to kind of break down and articulate the reasons why some of these changes were being made.
If you hear a common
perception of the judiciary is that they always seem to remain outside of the operation of both the Executive Council and the Senate. Right. So Executive Council and senate try to make it a point to be in contact with each other and to make sure that at the very least we remain accountable. But judiciary, you often see that they're not important senate meetings, nor are they part of executive council meetings. So the functional operation of USG is not really known by the judiciary. So it was really trying to make sure we get the entities who had been, you know, working with, you know, us as a running organization and really think about it systematically. Not saying that judiciary was not capable of that they just weren't in In that process,
just to clarify an earlier point, is there no way for the referendum date to be moved without the entire election removed?
and doubt that would have to be something that needs to be something voted upon by the election board and in the timeline. But do you feel that the general somebody would appreciate have more time to read the constitutional referendum? in general? Is that what it is? The timeline is short? Like the reading period is that is that the general consensus?
I just don't think students knew that. You even made changes, and now they have to vote on it.
We randomly pulled about 20 students last night and they weren't aware about the changes. Only one student said that she saw the email and she hadn't read it.
I see. Oh, she hadn't read it. And that's another thing we actually were able to, you know, student engagement activities very, you know, kind in being able to send out mass email to all undergraduate hulu's. I believe it was Saturday at 4pm. About the costumes and all the links with it. So at the end of the day, those
notes are allowed to read
the week that's been given. For us it seemed like an adequate amount of time.
But I don't necessarily know how much it would change in the fact that house this boat.
Does anybody want to chime in on that and actually, just
a number of extra weeks with the students or voting we
are portions of the Constitution because
currently, I will people that have been chatbot the Constitution, only one person has read 16 pages and every person is not stupid.
So All students are leading the major changes and understanding that we
no longer have
medical legal remedies. These changes were expressing every week and these changes.
So then why are
the changes that are protecting you from from legal vulnerabilities? Why are those being made the same referendum as other major changes that don't have to do with legal vulnerabilities.
So besides the pages
those are very small changes
to ensure that clarifies
we had to
replace 30 or 40,
wishing them all together
and it was the same goal producing
So, Adam, Adam, the different amendments, or different changes that you've seen in the constitution? Is there anything that sticks out to you as of this can be problematic or deceived. This shows that there's not intentional the newest GT that consolidate our word. I don't know, you know, not do right by the student body. Because ultimately, I think the intentionality behind this game is to make sure that one of we're more accountable to some studies in the body in regards to reducing the number of the amount of bureaucracy we have a new organization. For example, let's talk about, you know, one of the main one of the language that we change in the constitution was removing everywhere in the constitution that stated that USG acknowledges Because ultimately, USG is not the body that acknowledges that that is tuning in activities. He was GJ sponsor, but because of that language, bringing The Constitution we had to go back and forth with students, little clubs and organizations that were coming in for funding who SSC, the Special Services Committee, which we change to promotion probationary budgeting committee, just because the name reflects the operation better. You know, students would have to send their constitution to engagement activities, but they also send it to SS the, you know, SSE committee, and SSE committee would then send the constitution to the judiciary branch, you know, and there were three eyes looking at the same constitution through the same lens. While there's already an accountable, you know, body student engagement activities that are is that it's already been reading the Constitution. So why are there extra, you know, hindrances for student body? Like, why can't they just come in? We already know that their constitution has been validated by staff members and we can just move forward with them, having access to the budget and really providing the student body with the experiences that they want to. I think this is the rationale behind this. We don't want to add more steps for students receive services, we want to make sure that it's sufficient for.
Um, one thing that I noticed when I read the constitution was that the guidelines for constitutional amendment referendums would be relaxed. So rather than requiring a proof from two thirds majority of the Executive Council, and the Senate, or petition with signatures from one third of the undergraduate student body, the segment, requiring signatures from one third of the undergraduate student body was changed to a petition with signatures from one 10th of industry members.
So I think the main intentionality behind that was for any instance a school is not content with what USG is doing. And the Constitution is what allows for us to to do it. Students now have a better opportunity to Canvas to their student body to petition and then make that change directly within you. SG and put something on about one third of the total Undergraduate Student Government is 6000 students. I, that that that's insane, expecting the students to be able to get 6000 signatures by bringing it down to one. I'm sorry, by bringing down the number two 110 students now have to get 1000 signatures.
I thought it says in the constitution for us, she members not the student body so
USG members, so we're all USG members. So I don't all kind of bring it all figured out, go to the Constitution.
So you know, all undergraduate students at the University
shall be members of the university.
So the undergraduate student government pays to speak is now a member of USG. That means that you have access to all the resources that students have that you know us team members have currently. I think that I think that's where the issue is, for some reason, we see we see that you know, The people who are working in USG are separate from the actual students. Meanwhile, we're kind of on the same boat. We're providing experiences and we're trying to bring in as many people as we can to be part of that shared decision making. So, you know, that's why we had the rationale to bring down the number of additions that any Undergraduate Student Government member needs to be able to put something on. Again, it's it's it's making student participation level.
Could it be confusing? If you're reading the constitution to know whether you're referring to the student body or to the student government when you're agreeing or new same coin both USD?
That's fair. I think one thing is that this USG Can you know, dictate who's an undergraduate student member, you know, who's who's who is an undergraduate student. We can we can we can identify who's an undergraduate student government member because you've been connected these you know, there are some students that request waivers for not to pay this one Activity speed. So in that sense, you know them Don't we have to be cautious as to who gets who gets into, you know, the different events that we hold for who gets to be covered under our insurance policies, these are really the reasons why we use the language that we do is to make sure that we're kind of compliant with who we represent.
elaborating just on like, the insurance policies,
so that's separate from the Constitution, but yeah, at the end of the day, we host you know, large events, we fund clubs that you know, have different level of activity, whether it be you know, the main club, whether it be you know, what else is what are other clubs I there, there's so many different Oh, there is. Tomorrow, one day going to school, you know, there there are a lot of clubs So, you know, we have to make sure that we keep our students safe to ultimately that is our goal to make sure that students have fun, but also there's a contingency plan, God forbid anything wrong. So that that's the reason why we have insurance. So that
insurance policy would cover any student in the club. And that's that's what that's what bring to
the debate when I mentioned insurance. Yeah, we have to we have to get insurance make sure students are closer with it. Yeah.
other SUNY schools have a similar structure in their USG governments, but they all have judicial branches. So can you can you explain why you decided that you want to get rid of the judicial branch, whereas like all the other schools have elected to have it?
Yeah. So I think looking at it in two lenses first, yes. Other so many schools definitely have judiciary branches.
But we have to see how we're operating and whether that that whether that operation works based on it, you know what you will do it right now. The old method the old responsibilities for the judiciary was one to conduct and teaching cases and to, to what is called to review the Constitution of clubs and organizations.
In regards to the Constitution, we only have good engagement and activities
that handles that. And we had an SSE
committee that just focusing on funding so they can kind of removes one facet of what, you know, judiciary members are doing on the second half in regards to impeachment. I think the, the number of engagements that you will she had, first, second, the one that comes that the most recent one was never within judiciary, and impeachment of judiciary and in regards to how the student body votes, student body votes directly for the executive council members and the senators. But there is no real check, nor is there soon representation within the judiciary for the sub. So how does a student making, you know, a decision on you know, legal matters When they don't really understand what the students best interest is, does that. Does that make sense? I don't know if I'm articulating that properly.
And if anybody else wants to put up on the
and you just speak up a little bit, speak up Sorry. Sorry.
So the main difference between us and other MBAs is that we are a nonprofit corporation organization, which is federal tax exempt. So us as an organization, we also mentioned have a significantly larger yearly budget and also the schools before we are released to administer and the reason
main difference is that our business
that extremely well, when business however, has to be accountable like business. So, if organization is handling this amount of money, we have serious liability in which this money must be taken care of implies that no Penny should be wasted and we should be our end goal to be reaching saturation efficiency and getting rid of large amount of waste and when over that, so this the judiciary branch has been a talking point for several years now,
acceleration So, the executive councils
the large majority of us in the Executive Council right now, six out of seven. We all have been in USD in the past number one percenters
Last year, of course, we saw the same thing where a lot of these operational efficiencies have existed for many, many years already. However, they just haven't been tackled yet because it's a large undertaking. And so we knew if we want to tackle it, we have to go from day one. And that's why we started from day one, work on exactly what we do based on our information from previous years. And that's, that's our way of being accountable because of the fact that we're having so much
Alright, so you're saying that we have
um, I let Smith go first. Yeah.
So you're saying that the Sunnybrook co she has a significantly larger yearly budget than other schools
know we know that Buffalo State University of Buffalo has larger budget. So we wouldn't say we have the largest budget or most money system, but its larger $3.7 million. budget is huge. And we can actually not only jet not only just in the SUNY system, but nationwide, I think Stony Brook University's Undergraduate Student Government is recognized. So just just this summer, we had the privilege of going to a national conference, in which we were able to kind of hear the different stories of other student governments. And some governments only have the budget of you know, $20,000 for the semester. Meanwhile, hours like I'm terrible at math. Adrian, how much time? Exactly? Yeah, so like $3.7 million versus $20,000 for the semester. It's a huge difference. So we have to make sure that we're more accountable.
So why can these other schools afford judiciary branches, but we can't if we have a large budget, it's not
that we we can't afford it. We can't afford it. We can continue to spend money on the judiciary. But if the output is not directly impacting the students, and it's just a hindrance for students to receive a service, then why are we paying into with, you know, oftentimes we'd have judiciary members, not not talking about the members who served in judiciary because they were just doing their job written in the Constitution, like they were doing their jobs, but the job itself was just sometimes required for them to sit empty in the judiciary office, not really having cases come in not really conducting impeachment, not really doing much. So that that just seems like a waste of money. Because at the end of the day, even if work is not being done, if they're in the office, we are so reports have paid the staff, the judiciary numbers, so it's seeing where we can be more efficient and maybe redirect that money somewhere else. $10,000 can con 2030 extra floaters on campus, it can be another trip for us was to attend. So that's really the perspective that we're looking at and how can we increase the direct impact and so
is that a follow up question or
So so one of the major criticisms that we've we've heard from people is that people are fear this could topple, you know, the checks and balances on the student government, which which some argue is more important because because you guys operate such a large budget, that it's so important. And among those Student Services, wouldn't that include a student's ability to go to the judiciary to propose cases if they have issues or something or they encounter a problem? I'm
glad you bring that up. So yet there were times where people would come to the judiciary to talk about conduct issues, you know, whether it be you know, matters that should not be handled with a new achieve and something that has to do with discrimination, hate speech, anything that is not directly related to you know, US Geez, funding. There's no reason that you will should be operating cases and that records that should be handled that that authority should be given to administration it should be given to the title nine office because they are trained professionals that know how to deal with these type of topics. Would you be comfortable with students being able to make judgments based on issues as serious as discrimination? I think that that's really the rationale is
let's say something like, not as major as that as something smaller, like think there's, um, they, they feel that a club is abusing his power, or they feel that a club is not following its constitution. Who would they bring that to, if not the judiciary
are fortunate enough to have different departments help us
out as well.
So there's possibly special areas that overlap with other
departments who have professional staff to deal with these issues. So Christine is the Director of Student Engagement and service, and they do deal with the constitutional issues so the student does have an issue with abusing against prostitution There was that department. And again, that's another reason as to
why we are able to not
because all these responsibilities are already being taken care of. and Justin, just Rob really good point
if the students to work directly with us. We can't
say that we can't say that we're not going to pay them if they do the work to have
the organization as opposed
to other entities, the smallest
budgets, we, if we hire, and if we
hire and fire away from
from members, and we had to pay them without work, and that also includes recurring
costs every year, even if we don't pay them just because we have to keep them on the books and it comes out
to 10s of thousands of dollars a year. Just
to clarify on Adrian's point
concerning the vertical institutions,
correct? Yes. Okay. A student or anyone have a concern about whether or not it
will be inappropriate department to kind of contact the reach of that, but what
what we would
work through is what that clubs constitution says in terms of competition because there isn't some overarching University, you know, universal kind of approach to how to handle this. Every call competition marries, and then you achieve the role in that would be funding. So that would be something that the treasurer's office like, he wouldn't have all the same whether or not that could be recognized or is you know, on some sort of judicial staff at the university.
issues or function of university funding issues.
So regarding the marketing of this whole referendum on Facebook us, she posted the announcement of the revision, and it said, read about our changes and vote yes for the constitutional referendum this week, as well as? Yes,
yes. As well as many personal accounts from USG. It says a lot of it says boat. Yes. So do you think that's appropriate? And do you believe that it should be unbiased since USG? You know, are the ones holding the election?
Well, that's a good point. And that is a really a good question. And we can open discussion to that if, in general, it seems that it's more ethical for us to remove language that says Well, yes, but the Constitution, then has a USGS primary account holder yet as the USGS official Instagram page, we can remove any language that says will Yes. However, what we what we would continue to do is put up the cup put up the fires that says that the current Professional referendums coming up. Now, one thing I see is that there are elected members of SG that function as UFC members, but are also individual students with their own voices. So then this also brings up that question that if a student is, you know, elected members, sanctimonious with the Constitution, is that okay? Or would you see that that also bring up?
A few things, Chris? So
yeah, I mean, I'm a member of UC and I know, I put on my personal accounts like boat, yes, but yes. And I thought about it. I was like, I'm a member of USG, you know, promoting this, but I thought it meant the same thing. If it was an official, you know, USG media account, like,
maybe we should think a little harder about whether we're, you know, a lot of what, yes, or whatever, but me as a student, I was like, yeah, sure, I can really promote, you know,
and that's a valid for maybe we didn't consciously think about the language of including guests and, you know, showing them bias might affect our students perceive us. So I think that might that that's something that was incorrect, because that is about
so is that the USGS official study Some voting vote yes.
That I think we'd have we'd have people or maybe even like, it depends on who posted it. Maybe they have that personal view that they should vote yes. And it was just slipping. They added Yes. For us. Us. Geez, main concern. Well, for us, yes. Ideally, we would like for students to vote yes for the constitutional referendum because it could correct a lot of the legal liabilities that we may face. Because there are there are there, you know, there's a large portion of the constitution that will change, just so we're compliant with the different laws. But ultimately, all we really care about the fact that students go out and vote based on what they believe is right. You know, based on the content. The content is what I
obviously I'd like to guess just because I In one of the changes that says
that we would all be like on the dollar, so the next election like, it's just like a general election, you know, really anyone can vote for anyone like being a Health Science Center last year.
And like I really had to push myself out there and like I had to talk to seniors and freshmen and get in touch with you. Thank you. Yes.
So if this if the majority of students vote yes for the referendum, how quickly does everything go into effect?
So ideally, you'd like to see immediately the Constitution says
everything yeah, so so so ultimately, the way
it's written the Constitution, yes, immediately, but there are some things that have to be skill, you know, based on transition period, it takes time for an organization to appropriately ensure that the transitions are being means. Like what? How like? Well, I guess, for example, like the the elections right, when it comes to the senators, that means that the Senate elections, that means that once the changes are made to the Constitution, then we will have to start discussing with the election board to see how we can adjust the language in the election board bylaws, which they change internally to reflect our Constitution. So it's really filling up the gaps now that we are associated. So I think that when I say that, it takes time, it's going to take time because we have to make sure that all the related entities are also are aware, but also their procedures start to match. Yes,
so if the constitution doesn't go through, would you construct a different constitution with different proposals, and try again,
I think at that point, we'd have to really reach out and find out why the student body voted no, is it because not enough time was given Is it because There are specific parts of the constitution that they that they disagree with. And it's at this point, it's almost like really figuring out like, what what the student body wants. There's some things that are non negotiable because we need to make sure our organization and when I say ours, I mean ours, because at the end of the day, you know, if anything happens to us, gee, where, because we're legally non compliant, our doors shut down, which is a possibility. The Hundred 65 plus clubs that we fund will be defunded, you know, clubs and organizations will not be able to perform the way they do. And I think that that's detrimental. So it really is the two extremes. So yeah, we would really want to push and find the best medium for us to realize why, what what would make sense?
so if you voted if the student body voted now, for the next referendum, would you more closely ex students what they wanted and promote it more?
Well, we'd have to wait an entire semester so we'd have to wait until the spring elections that that time it might be it could be it would be too late we would pretty much just market it again and see what we can change it but I wouldn't say that that that's necessarily the best way to do it because a whole nother six months we just set back USG further back it would set the student body further back and it will just add you know, the complaints that we hear from the student body as to why he was he does not function the best way possible for the student body is because of the changes that are not so us bring these changes would effectively remedy you know, students interaction. So, you know,
so are so when I was reading the Constitution, something else popped out at me and I was a little confused about what it meant. So I'm in the second about freedom of speech, several segments were deleted. And I just wanted some clarification on what this would mean and why they were deleted.
It's on page five
Yeah, and then the parts that I'm referring to the lead it would be C and 10. Yeah so media the Undergraduate Student Government told me granted said rights regardless if you points
us You should may not make any attempt. Yeah.
Yeah, that that's Yeah. CM 10 Yeah.
organization not allowed to
endorse any legislation
note that it's not something
and about number 10 that you may not use, you may not make any attempt to control or force unconstitutional powers. Okay. Okay.
Could you expand a little bit about what you meant by I believe you said that the reason you chose to remove the media text is because that you hadn't specified what media is. Can you like expand a little bit about what you mean by that?
Okay, welcome to this media published
doesn't really make sense to keep that when the organization to do it's a matter of protecting the rights of the organization.
So at the end of the day
again, going from a 62
Yeah, so a lot of it was definitely on track.
So by getting rid of
that over already stated
Me organizations are still protected.
So I just wanted to know if you guys have thought about the long term impact of potentially moving the judiciary, and how that could potentially affect the structure of the government. I
think that's interesting. I think
a lot of the me in the course of the Constitution was to consider the long term longevity of the Undergraduate Student Government. As of right now, you know, the for the past 10 years, the judiciary has been functioning but to a capacity that really wasn't appropriate, more functionally relevant to the USG. So I guess it's important It is a trial and error we got to be we want to see, you know, what are the direct benefits and maybe the negatives, Rose the body, judiciary, ultimately the way we've assess the situation and we will see that there is a one easy access for student clubs and organizations to receive the services that they need, it will reduce the accuracy, it will ensure that, you know, funding that was, you know, kind of trapped in one place will now be able to be relieved and be dispersed to other clubs and organizations or different forms of, you know, program. So, there are more benefits as right now. But I think the other thing is that the fact that we have constitutional amendment, you know, we relaxed the waist means to make constitutional amendment changes. At the end of the day, the students view that this is something that needs to be back into was eaten, by all means,
involved with it. I think
that that's the thing we've we've allowed for us to function more. Not necessarily. You know, the The USG executive council members where he was two senators, its USG
in reverse in terms of the entire city.
So some people are seeing the removal of the judiciary branch as a paragraph. How does she respond to that?
I don't, it's hard for me to say because I don't see much power that we have. Is there any like to answer that? Yeah. Just
the main existence
itself is like,
it's hard to it's hard to talk about that. Because, as of right now, like, most decisions will be made by the judiciary.
And currently, there are only
two or three justices and
justices. It's either one or two people make a decision
overall comfortable with having an entire
such a diverse
range between appointment
can make a decision based on the best for people.
so, on the other hand when you have accountability
in the hands of
elected officials, then you have
to have an accountability.
I'm sorry, I'm Sarah. Sarah. Hi. Um, so why
not and then how the judicial branch function and possibly make it into an elected position.
So that's a great point. And one thing is that when the constitution was first being drafted, it was drafted to make sure that reflects the United States Constitution. And we look at the judiciary system right now, does report judicial numbers are, you know, appointed by the president and then, you know, confirmed by the Senate in house, right. But at the end of the day, we see that those who are appointed in the judicial branch usually reflect the views of the President. So there's always a skewed perception as to a skewed, you know, way that they do this is based on you know, what, they're a point turn, really, for us? Yeah. That that, that that's about point like, yes, you know, judiciary members could have been made elected members. But at the end of the day, what again, what will be the role of the judiciary, it's like, Sure, we changed the fact that now, traditional members are more responsive to the student body, but there's still his work. That's in the middle that is not being done. And adding extra responsibilities just for a branch to remain seems fruitless. It's like, you know, opening a job position for, you know, you know, position that has no work and then just giving it tasks to make sure that it exists. But there is no functional reason for that entity to exist. I think that's the issue
for Jen and then
I would just like to ask a free to clarify what you mean by more power because I so far as I can tell the only power that the judiciary has over other branches of the USG, it would be the impeachment process, right.
So it's impeachment process, but it's also like the impeachment process is based on the interpretation of the Constitution. So you know, based on Couple of judiciary members, they can really decide what the Constitution is saying. And at the end of the day, there's no checks as to how so four people, five people, six people, how many however many it is, will get ultimately make the deciding factor as to what the Constitution is saying and then impose that not only on and again it's never just the EC and the senate it's also clubs and organizations at the front just with you know, associates Oh,
I know because I'm sorry, I don't want to say something to and then I'll give you the chance to that is
I just I wanted to ask about that actually, because we did the math and according to in it, let's assume that they're paid $14 an hour. You're only paying for 16 hours a week, let's say 15 weeks per semester says three weeks per year, that doesn't amount to $10,000 How much is that? Um, I will double check, but I think it came to about six or 7000. And
so, so based on the Constitution, you know, there's supposed to be seven judiciary members, right? 17 Industry members get paid four hours a week. And then the Chief Justice get paid an extra two hours.
So therapy two hours, and then the Chief Justice gets
more yet. So that system, and on top of that we also pay for people to be on payroll, because again, the windfall. Yeah, so you know, it adds it adds up to even $7,000 a year.
Then you add payroll processing fee that goes
away, we get like a breakdown of that number.
I mean, that breakdown, the breakdown of the number
of the numbers, but at the end of the day when we process payroll, yeah.
I mean, I did go to several meetings of their meetings last semester. So I know that they did have meetings. And I think that someone from I forget who saw someone said that they intentionally don't remember. So they generally don't go to meetings. So they don't want to become bias
cases. But at the end of the day, if they're not involved in how the list is functioning itself, and how are they aware of things been done, constitutionally, unconstitutionally know the judiciary is required to have minutes and minutes being public, but in the Constitution, who's who's keeping checksum the judiciary publishing the minutes? You know, there were many gaps that were never notified that the judiciary never was proactive on, nor was USGA able to enforce anything because it's against the Constitution. So I think that's where it comes in. There was a there was a big gap and want to make sure we address it.
Yes, I'm sorry. Yes. So instead of instead of addressing these gaps and trying to fill these gaps, why did you guys decide that it was better to remove the judiciary entirely,
we can we can fill the gaps but at the end of the date of the functionality of Again, like what what is the work being done? You know, if again constitution is being removed by is being reviewed by student engagement activities that are being takes a job away from the judiciary members on top of that, if impeachment can be done fairly and equitably among, you know, Senate and executive council members, where they're voting proportionally three quarters, and at the end of the day, they represent the student body because students have voted for them, they reflect the interests of the students. I think that is better check then, you know, seven people being arbitrarily decided to serve in the judiciary and then you know, making the decision based on whatever they feel.
Justin, would you like to
for every member
Last year, and this year.
as far as the first time we invited to our
council meeting and talk about what our plans for the future we're
talking about suggestions.
They hadn't met together at all at that point,
and they're supposed
to be once every 14 days.
So that's not
the answer. And the question
why don't we just oversee them
their job is very First place
you need somebody in place you have to
and then becomes an executive number one,
then get the question of
whether they have your
face all these problems, you're still getting them. Or
the follow up question was that you mentioned that impeachment can be conducted fairly and partially by the Senate and the Executive Council, but how can you ensure that when the whole point of the judiciary remaining separate was so that they would not be involved and that they Would they would be able to be impartial? How can you ensure that the Senate can still be impartial in the same way when they're involved in everyday proceedings.
So at the end of the day, like the way the Constitution was written now based on the amendments, is that if a member of the EC needs to be impeached, and he was brought up by the side of the executive house, and vice versa and impeachment of the senate number has to be done. And it's brought up by the Executive Council in the Executive Council. So there is the fact that you know, we there there still is a division between the two branches and the fact that you know, they have to make the opposite branches have to bring forward the impeachment shows that they're like, confirms less of a compliment.
Adrian and then just
kind of helps everyone understand that it is possible
Just so that
branch not be able to build on itself, because that doesn't happen in your system. But on the contrary, they do.
They just don't call them sculptures because it's not outlined in the US Constitution. So practices in the Senate and the House, if they want to teach one of their own members, they do. They do. And they don't allow that.
Exactly what to do.
However, it's just called an extortionist.
So one of the reasons that you're getting rid of the judicial branch is because you're saying that they aren't as qualified. I guess you want to leave it up to professionals.
So what makes those two cases that have to do with Title Nine issues?
nation, any of those topics? Yes. Okay. I should be we'd love to train it.
Okay, but what makes the legislative and the executive qualified to handle hundreds and thousands of dollars
in regards to the funding that we give to students, because if not, undergraduate students, I think that's the biggest thing is the Undergraduate Student Government is an entity that, you know, empower students to be able to advocate for their peers. At the end of the day, you know, students want other students to succeed. That's the general the general general principle of
you achieving students first.
So we want to ensure that every dollar is spent according to the student life, and also that we can invest in astrology and partners to make sure that we bring about diverse and inclusive
programming to the student body.
So I really don't understand the question in regards to you know, one group of people being trained to handle issues that are very sensitive and can be detrimental and emotional, like mentally straining for one student and then being accountable. For hundreds of thousands of dollars where we have checks in place, for example, for us to to operate and disperse funding, we need a fiscal agent. The fiscal agent is somebody who is you know, a train CPA, they know finances, it's not like we're blindly, you know, pressing them. We have mechanisms in place, if anybody has been a part of a club and requested, you know, an approval of their budget or you know, even an item, they have to go through campus fines, and then show justification, rationale, the exact you know, amount and then the link, know we have checks in place to ensure that there's no fraud. So we keep ourselves accountable, and we want to make sure that every aspect of us G is accountable to the student body, but also
I believe you said in a previous interview that you guys plan on publishing operations manual. Do you mind elaborating on that?
So an operations manual basically outlines the business functioning of an organization, USG, unfortunately doesn't happen right? Now, and if we did, it was the version of the code. But the code is outdated, and it's hundreds of pages and non read. So we want to make a new and updated one. But in order to do that we got to make sure first, our Constitution is compliant so that our procedure manuals can reflect, you know, the compliant document that we're obligated to follow. So I think that's that we have like a step by step procedure to ensure that at the end of this year, ultimately that that is our goal is USG remain stable for the next five to 10 years. And with the within with in mind that you know, things happen, changes happen, and students have the ability to change, you know, the structure based on you know, how times change,
but this replace the current Yoshi code.
And there be another referendum on that.
So the code so the procedure manuals are not really voted on, nor the referendum word, usually it's reflective of the Constitution and then it's just articulated in a more fluffy procedural wait. So it's like it's like a manual. Yeah, like an instruction manual, basically. But the main concepts are
derived from the Constitution. Um, so yeah. So
I just wanted to shift gears a little bit and talk about the ballot for the referendum. So when you go on to the site when you go into solar vote, and then it doesn't it doesn't state what you're voting on. It just says yes or no, yeah. And then there's a statement, but then when you click on the statement, then all there is is text saying the link to USG constitution referendum is and then it's a bit OY, yeah. Can you explain why it's currently set up like this?
So that is the limitation that we have based on, registrar. They handle, you know, the administrating? Thank you.
I'm so sorry.
for ya. If you look at Yeah, we don't have any Let's see as to what the structure of the election election profile looks like, we get our environments to, you know, registrar, and then registrar kind of just goes. So ideally, we were hoping that the Bitly would be a clickable link. But it's not, it wasn't possible for us to
Having all the changes written to the solar, I don't think student that would be accessible for students either. So you know, it wasn't really the best we can do with the resources though.
Yeah, about the code. You told me back in September that the Constitution and the code didn't match up. So with the changes that you've made in the Constitution, do they align now?
So does it align with the code?
Yeah. Do they match up? Does it make sense? That's the
funny part. This code the code said one thing, the Constitution said and not another, and then what we were doing operationally was completely different. So now our constitution matches our procedure. So the next goal is to make sure that our operation manuals matches both our procedure and constitution. So as once these tool for whatever procedure and constitution are married, then we can put up with having a procedure manual that appropriately outlines what you just
saw the constitution was
and six and decode existed mainly as a way for us to be
able to make changes to the Constitution or or like a
natural amendments without falling through the student body because otherwise we have to wait only to the fall Spring semesters. That is a horrible system versus
here for like major, major operational changes
that change the culture. So, the way that we're going to have it the way our operations operation policy
is we will have
That's a skeleton
or the backbone of detailing the structure.
And the operations and policy
is the document that gives you instructions and details on top of that, which doesn't take any more power.
office, where instead just tells them how they can do their job successfully, and more to the data driven content driven by our transition documents, so that we can leave the for the next future years to come. They can see how this job is successfully and how they can make students.
When is that going to be done by
the operation? Yeah.
It all depends on the Constitution, because if the constitution doesn't pass, then we can work on an operation manual, because it would be not fine.
So it really is a long term like we're working We're structurally overhauling USG because the previous regime was inefficient.
But hypothetically, if the Constitution does pass, then when the operations are abundant as soon as possible,
try to get it back by the end is ultimately our goal is to make sure that these two steps happen before the end of this term. Because, you know, momentum is often lost in transition. So if this year's EC is focusing and is working hard on the constitutional referendum and having
operation and there's no guarantee that work is,
you know, the next group of students that are elected, maintain that same dimension and we hate for like half world. So our goal is to make sure that we have by the end
What's your name?
Nice to meet you. And what's your name? Edgar.
Edgar. Right. Awesome. And
you still here, you're sharing the space. We appreciate it. Thank you for coming. Like we appreciate it. And, you know, hopefully, at the very least this had this either peer to peer misconceptions are not referring to, like, that's fine. But as long as you know this discussion we're having is
I just have one question other currently 21 senators in your shooting that's been increasing 25? That's correct. Yes.
If there are no other questions, I think we can wrap this meeting up. Is that fine.
Awesome. Well, thank you for being here today. We appreciate your
support. So the 2122 23
in the under the proposed clusters near be 25. Yes.
Good. Thank you so much for coming today.
Because we weren't allowed to have food in academic spaces. We will have pizza you see there's a snack lobby or
upstairs in the conference room. You're more than welcome to come and
grab a slice.
Because you know, this is lunchtime.
Thanks so much.