Assembly Members Should Meet Responsibility

by Jake | 11/23/94 6:00am

To the Editor:

Based on the Student Assembly minutes of Nov. 15, the Assembly has 47 active members, of which one half are needed to make quorum. One half, 24, isn't a big number; however, it seems insurmountable to the Assembly.

Sunday evening, I took a little time from studying to attend the recently scheduled meeting of the Assembly, with plans of speaking against the proposed meal plan.

At approximately 5:10, attendance was taken. At approximately 5:15, the meeting was adjourned, because the Assembly was 5 members (or 3 - it was unclear) short of the quorum of 24. Which means that 28 (or 26) members could not, or would not, attend the meeting. Some were excused and others were not.

I sincerely wonder why these unexcused, absent members joined the Assembly in the first place. Theoretically, they should all want very much to attend Assembly meetings.

If they don't have time for it, or no longer want to do it, they should resign. If they are protesting an issue, then they should find another way to do it, for absence sends an ambiguous message.

Whatever their reasons for not attending, it upsets me greatly to see the Assembly essentially ground to a complete halt because of it. Some students may think this is a good thing, because they don't feel the Assembly does anything worthwhile. I won't voice my opinions on these issues, but I will say that the Assembly's efficient existence is very important, simply because it is the one body around intended to "represent" all Dartmouth students.

This week, the Assembly's inability to gather a quorum cost Dartmouth students a chance to have an official opinion in the decision of the meal plan. I laud John Honovich '97's last minute attempts to gather opinions, but it should not be necessary.

What happens when other important decisions come up? Will all students remain voiceless? I sincerely hope not. I call on those members who find themselves unable to attend meetings to decide whether they really should remain on the rosters of the Assembly.