StudCo makes bylaw changes
Student Council unanimously passed a new set of bylaws Tuesday evening which will fundamentally change the organization’s meeting structure and seeks to reinvent the organization’s relationship to students. The bill is the most comprehensive set of Council bylaw reforms since 1979, said incoming Council president Eric McDaniel, a third-year College student.
With the new reforms, Council members will alternate every other week with subcommittee meetings rather than meeting for legislative sessions weekly. The four different small committees will consist of a small group of six or seven people to workshop ideas and determine which presentations will be made in front of the entire legislative session.
“This way, when [a bill is] presented, it’s already been thought through, [and] questions have been asked,” McDaniel said. “It’s a much more approachable [and efficient] Council with all of the kinks worked out.”
The new 30-page bylaws also detail standards of practice for speakers at Council meetings, work to increase students’ ability to voice concerns to the Council and bring the regulations up to date with Council practice, McDaniel said.
“[The old bylaws were] out of date with the way Student Council operates, and going into the coming term we wanted to change and improve efficiency to better equip the representatives to advocate for students, pass CIO bills [and] approve budgets, [among other things],” he said.
Council’s old set of bylaws had dated requirements that created numerous inefficiencies, frustrating both Council members and CIOs, McDaniel said. “I mean, these were pre-email bylaws,” he said. “A lot has changed.”
The reforms were presented by McDaniel along with fellow Council representatives fourth-year Engineering student Alex Reber, third-year College student Michael Promisel and graduate Arts & Sciences student Adam Lees. The four were part of a committee developed last year to update Council bylaws, though all members of Council were asked for input in the drafting of the reforms.
Outgoing Council president Johnny Vroom, a fourth-year College student, praised the reforms for improving the organization of Council operations.
“[The bylaws reform committee members] really took the reigns … they put in so many hours meticulously combing through the old, antiquated bylaws and coming up with a more modern, streamlined set for our purposes today,” Vroom said. “To be honest, it’s something I wish I would have come up with when I took the job a year ago.”
McDaniel said he hopes these reforms will help Council quell common concerns about a lack of representativeness and a lack of initiative.