Assembly squabbles over new members

by Maggie Fritz With Nick Gansner | 10/5/94 6:00am

In a debate-filled meeting last night the Student Assembly passed two motions: one calling for a committee to examine the constitutionality of several Assembly appointments and another allocating $5,000 for a speaker symposium.

Assembly member Kishan Putta '96 motioned to form a Committee on Procedure to examine four appointments to the General Assembly made during the last two weeks.

Lischa Barrett '95, Shakari Cameron '96, Sue Kim '96 and Nada Payne '96 were admitted to the Assembly but Putta's motion called for an investigation into whether the four had met the Assembly's requirement of having attended three General Assembly meetings before being eligible for appointment.

At last week's meeting, Assembly Treasurer John Honovich '97 questioned whether or not meetings the three appointees attended during the summer fulfilled the requirement.

Honovich said they do not count because summer meetings are technically not General Assembly meetings.

Appointments to the General Assembly are made by the nominations committee, which is headed by Assembly Vice President Rukmini Sichitiu '95.

Sichitiu said she believes the appointments are valid although the constitution is unclear on the point. As parliamentarian of the Assembly, Sichitiu has the ability to decide ambiguous matters of the constitution and last week she ruled the appointments legitimate.

Sichitiu defended the constitutionality of the appointments, arguing that the Summer Assembly is considered General Assembly because technically Assembly President Danielle Moore '95 and she can preside over Summer term if they were on campus.

Traditionally, summer Assembly presidents are appointed by the president elected Spring term.

"What you are seeing here is a corruption of the proper procedure for which the constitutionality of issues are addressed," Sichitiu said.

Putta's motion passed and an ad-hoc Committee on Procedure will be formed. Honovich will chair the committee, which will be comprised of four Assembly members selected by lot at next week's meeting.

But the main agenda of last night's meeting concerned the funding of an Assembly-sponsored symposium.

Following one-and-a-half hours of debate the Assembly voted to allocate $5,000 of its budget toward funding a year-long symposium, "Women, Leadership and Activism."

The money will fund panel discussions, a film series, a photography exhibition and speeches by activists Elaine Kim and Angela Davis.

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