Student Council is back in session following an Oct. 1 closure for failing to appoint its Rules and Ethics Board during the first meeting of the semester, in violation of its bylaws.
A special session was held to address the closure Wednesday night. During the closure, which spanned student reading days, Student Council was barred from meeting and allocating funds.
Student Council President Abraham Axler, a third-year College student, said the “bureaucratic entanglement” resulted in a necessary change of bylaws.
The organization’s bylaws also requires that members of the Rules and Ethics Board attend an orientation and take an online quiz before serving in the role. The deadlines for both have passed.
The bylaws additionally require the outgoing Rules and Ethics Board administer the quiz to the incoming Board. There is no previous board.
“By the time we realized, it was too late to appoint [a board] and we had to change the bylaws and some processes, which takes a little bit of time,” Axler said.
The closure was caused by a circular system of bureaucratic rules and guidelines within the Council, Axler said. The Rules and Ethics Board enforces the bylaws, but the bylaws prevented Council from appointing the board.
Student Council, under the former bylaws, should have been in closure for the entirety of last year for the same violation.
“We had to do it to respect the integrity of the bylaws,” he said. “It was a great exercise in frustrating bureaucracy, but now it’s fixed.”
The two bills voted on in the special session appoint the new board into membership and change the criteria for the board so that it is not necessarily the responsibility of the outgoing board to appoint the incoming board, as the bylaws previously required.
The closure had very little effect on the day-to-day operations of Student Council, particularly during fall break, Axler said.
“We were in closure for the four days of fall break, when we weren’t meeting anyway,” Axler said.
Axler said attendance for the special session was the same as a typical Student Council meeting.
“I’m very glad that StudCo is back and open for business, and I’m particularly glad we did it while respecting the integrity of the bylaws,” Axler said.
Read this article translated into Mandarin here.