Potential changes in bylaws were discussed again at the Associated Students Inc. (ASI) Senate meeting on Thursday, March 7.
The debate over a major change in the position requirements of senator pro tempore reached an agreement when a motion to keep the original duties of secretary of internal affairs passed in a 7-5 vote.
“Our whole point of bringing the bylaws to discussion and rules and policies was because we wanted to fix the pro temp position because it doesn’t have as much work as it did last year,” ASI Vice President Pasindu Senaratne said. “Now we’re back at square one.”
The motivation behind these changes was to give the senator pro temp more responsibilities. Last year, pro temp was in charge of chairing the Facilities & Operations committee but no longer does.
Senaratne was the senator who suggested that the pro temp take on the responsibility of leading inter council.
ASI President Jenny Greenberg, who had previously held that position, vehemently disagreed with the changes and brought up her concerns again.
She spoke with the current ASI Secretary of Internal Affairs Jordan Dayer, as well as the two alumni who held the position before her in order to get their insight on the changes. She read statements from each and all were in agreement that pro temp and secretary of internal affairs should keep their original responsibilities.
“I do not fully support the idea of shifting the responsibility of chairing inter council to pro temp,” Dayer said in a statement. “I believe that the position of internal affairs would not be left with an adequate amount of work for a secretary if they were to give up inter council.”
One of the main arguments brought up against the change was that it would have been seen as a conflict of interest having the senator pro temp leading the inter council meeting. The secretary of internal affairs is tasked with the responsibility of bringing up issues from the councils to the Senate and the concern was that it would be a conflict of interest having a senator, albeit senator pro tempore, be that bridge.
Another concern was that should pro temp take on the responsibility of leading inter council, special treatment or priority would be given to his/her specific council.
ASI Sen. Pro-Tempore Rachel Hunter disagreed that it would be a conflict of interest because she “works in dual capacities,” she said. “Ultimately, it is the decision of the Senate to decide the bylaw changes.”
Another approved change is that the Senate’s official name is now board of directors, but senators kept their official titles.
The next meeting will take place on Thursday, March 14 in the Bronco Student Center’s England Evans suite at 3 p.m.
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