Soon after the Student Senate minority party announced it wanted to amend Student Government codes, the Senate president, part of the majority party, created a committee to oversee all code revisions.
Inspire Party senators submitted three bills revising SG codes to the Senate Judiciary Committee at about 5 a.m. Friday. The bills aimed to increase transparency by having SG livestream SG events, expand the absentee ballot process and give public notice for Supreme Court hearings. Only the absentee ballot bill passed in committee. The others were tabled until the new code revision committee can look it over at the start of the Spring 2018 semester.
At about 4 p.m. on the Friday the bills were submitted, Senate President Ian Green announced he would create a special committee dedicated to revising the codes.
“I was surprised when I saw President Green’s email announcing the committee,” said Senator Branden Pearson (Inspire, Lakeside). “I’m concerned this will delay action.”
Green said he decided to create the code revisions committee after seeing Inspire senators had drafted several bills reviewing the codes. He said the Senate Ethics and Rules Committee is also reviewing some codes.
“It’s been apparent that student senators want to make some changes to the codes,” Green said. “I think it’s most efficient to do an overhaul of all the codes at once since we haven’t done that in a while.”
Although he’s not sure of the last time senators evaluated and updated all codes, Green said he knows it hasn’t been done since he joined Senate in Spring 2015.
Pearson said he is concerned the code revisions, which would affect all students, will only be crafted by the majority party in the Senate.
The Senate is currently formed by four independent senators, 20 Inspire senators and 73 Impact senators, according to the Senate roster.
Out of the 51 senators serving in Senate committees, two are from Inspire Party and 49 are from Impact Party, Pearson said. All committee members are selected by the Replacement and Agenda committee, which is formed by five Impact senators and one Inspire senator.
“If you look at the committees’ composition, it’s unrealistic to think Inspire or independent candidates will serve on the code revisions committee,” Pearson said. “And that makes you question bipartisanship.”
Green said he doesn’t plan to look at what party the senators are from when appointing the nine members of the committee.
“I’m just looking out for the best candidates,” Green said. “I’m not sure who I’ll select or from what party until I review the applications, but I’m sure there’s great candidates from both sides of the aisle.”