Execs gear up for next year's SA

by Charles Gardner | 5/23/01 5:00am

The first of two organizational meetings for the 2001-2002 Student Assembly, to be headed by Student Body President Molly Stutzman '02 and Vice President Mike Newton '04, was held Monday night in Rocky 1.

On the agenda were several issues, among them the appointment of four new members to the Membership and Internal Affairs Committee, the adoption of an amendment to the Student Assembly constitution and a general discussion of goals for next year's assembly to pursue.

The two meetings are primarily intended to "start us off on the right foot and to give us a purpose for the future," Stutzman said. Since the meetings deal almost exclusively with the structure and direction of next year's Assembly, the current 2000-2001 Student Assembly will continue to meet according to its usual schedule.

Following individual introductions, Assembly members proposed five nominations for four positions on the MIAC. The Committee is responsible for ensuring the smooth functioning of the Assembly, as well as appointing students to College committees that allow students to work with the faculty and administration according to Newton.

Though both Stutzman and Newton expressed confidence in each of the candidates, a vote determined the students -- Jai Danani '04, Erica Berman '03, Melissa Sheiko '04 and Yuval Ortiz-Quiroga '02 -- that will sit on the committee next year.

Also achieved at the meeting was the passage of a resolution -- sponsored by Newton and Joshua Marcuse '04 that will amend the SA constitution to allow Student Body Presidents greater freedom in selecting candidates for Committee Chairs and executive positions.

Prior to the resolution, which passed without objection, selection of candidates for such positions was limited to current members of the Assembly. Under the revised clause, Presidents will be able to select candidates, still subject to Assembly approval, from among both members and non-members.

Stutzman supported the passage of the resolution, which she said allowed many of those with valuable outside perspectives to contribute to the Assembly.

"These people may not be current members, but they have a lot of the requisite experience," she said. "The resolution basically allows us to be more flexible."

At the close of the meeting, Assembly members offered ideas and suggestions to pursue and implement during the coming year.

During the discussion, many representatives expressed concern that the accomplishments of the SA are insufficiently publicized among the student body.

To remedy the situation, Allen Fromherz '02 suggested the creation of an SA newsletter that could inform students of the progress of the Assembly. Others proposed greater interaction with heads of campus organizations, as well as announcements to the campus that would describe the recommendations and progress of Assembly reports.

Michael Sevi '02 emphasized positively changing the Student Assembly's image through either the use of a possible newsletter or through The Dartmouth, while Nela Suka '04 saw a need to reduce the number of internal resolutions passed and instead to pay greater heed to the concerns of students.

Others, among them Marcuse and Stephanie Long '04, spoke of a need for greater enthusiasm and energy among Assembly members as well as greater involvement and awareness of the student body.

Both Stutzman and Newton were pleased with the meeting, and expressed their enthusiasm for the new Assembly.

"I'm excited to get the ball rolling," said Newton. "I think it's going to be a great year and that we're really going to get a lot done."

"There are a lot of great people and there's lots of energy and enthusiasm," Stutzman said. "I'm very happy to be a part of it."

Next week's organizational meeting will entail the elections of secretary and treasurer for the Assembly, the nomination and confirmation of six committee chairs and the election of summer assembly President and Vice-President.