SA downs fusion-ticket proposal
The Student Assembly last night voted down a proposal to have the presidential and vice-presidential candidates run together on a ticket, and also unanimously approved three other resolutions aimed at providing more student services.
Assembly Treasurer Ben Hill '98 sponsored the failed constitutional amendment that called for presidential and executive vice presidential candidates to run together on tickets.
Currently, students elect the Assembly president and the Assembly vice president separately in the spring elections.
Hill's proposal sparked extensive debate among Assembly members.
"I am 100 percent behind this," Assembly President Jim Rich '96 said. "It won't sacrifice any kind of diversity."
Rich said there would be the potential for disaster if the president and vice president were "completely ideologically opposed." Rich used as an example the conflict between last year's Assembly President Rukmini Sichitiu '95 and Assembly Vice President John Honovich '97.
Honovich was elected vice president in a special internal election in the winter after Assembly President Danielle Moore '95 stepped down in the fall.
Most of those opposed to the amendment said having candidates run on tickets would, as vice president of student life Della Bennett '96 said, "reduce the diversity of opinion" on the Assembly.
Sixteen Assembly members voted against the proposal, eight voted for it and five members abstained.
One of the major recommendations of an external committee charged with reforming the Assembly, which released its report in the spring, was having the president and vice president run together on a ticket.
Meredith Epstein '97, vice president of student services, sponsored two of the other resolutions that were unanimously approved.
The first resolution allocated $800 to subsidize discount bus rides for students seeking rides home for Thanksgiving.
Students will be able to buy round-trip tickets for the holiday weekend to Boston, Mass., Hartford, Conn., and New York City for $25 to $38.
Epstein also drafted the resolution calling for the Assembly to spend $600 this year to lease a change machine and place it in the lower level of the Collis Center for student use. The $50-per-month expenditure will pay for the change machine's maintenance and insurance.
Hill proposed the third motion, which was also unanimously approved. Hill's motion set aside a $1,000 fund that the Assembly can draw from to maintain and purchase computers in public locations for students to use to check their electronic mail.
At last night's meeting, Hill also announced that the Undergraduate Finance Committee allocated $25,000 to the Assembly, an increase of $1,000 from last year.
The UFC allocates the money raised from the $35-a-term student activities fee to several College organizations.
Hill said he thought the UFC gave the Assembly more money than last year because the Assembly has not experienced the infighting it has in past Fall terms.
"I think they see us as a more respectable organization," Rich said. Rich said the Assembly earned the raise in funding and he congratulated Assembly members for it.
"Keep it up," Rich said. "It will be a busy year ... an especially busy winter."
Dominic LaValle '99 and Jonah Sonnenborn '99 also cosponsored a series of resolutions to revise the Assembly's freshman-election procedure.
But the proposals were met by a great deal of confusion from the rest of the Assembly and they were tabled for next week's meeting.