SG Assembly confirms Odyssey and proposes elimination of SA Court

By Carolina Bolado

The Student Government (SG) Pan-University Assembly certified Ben Aderson as the 2002 SG President last night, at a meeting of both the Graduate and College Councils. 2001 President Deepak Sevak resigned at the meeting, amid rounds of applause.

“I had an incredible time this year,” Sevak said. “It was lots of hard work, and I would never do it again, but I’m extremely happy that I did.”

Sevak said that SG’s transitions in the past have not been smooth, and he hopes to remedy that. Sevak will now concentrate on helping to train the new executive slate — President Ben Aderson and Vice Presidents Laura Hepokoski and Frances Lim — in their new positions.

“We’re going to facilitate some early planning over the summer to get the ball rolling so that when classes start in the fall, we don’t all get hammered,” Aderson said.

The Assembly certified the results of the election as presented by the Election and Rules Committee. Of the total online votes, 90.6 percent were from College students, 3.3 percent from Law students, and 1.6 percent from Social Sciences. The remaining online votes came from other graduate divisions. These percentages do not include paper ballots from the polling stations.

The Assembly also voted to include some revisions to the SG Constitution in the ballot for the fall elections. In order for the changes to be passed, 60 percent of the student body must vote in favor of them.

Both of these changes were proposed by Ryan Nelson, a second-year Law student on the Graduate Council and the new student liaison to the Board of Trustees. Nelson proposed to eliminate the Student Administration Court and to distribute its powers amongst various parts of the Assembly, and to lower the requirement for impeachment from a three-fourths majority to a two-thirds majority.

“The people on the Court are all very fine people, but if it’s not working, then let’s just get rid of it,” Nelson said.

The Student Administration Court was formed two years ago, primarily to settle disputes between Recognized Student Organizations, but it has been dormant until this year, when Chief Justice Jeremy Posadas was almost impeached and Solidarity brought up allegations of elections violations against Odyssey.

Amy Hammond, a Graduate Council member representing the Social Sciences division, brought up the issue of the Major Activities Board’s (MAB) secrecy about its expenditures. Hammond is one of three SG members who sits on the Program Coordinating Council (PCC), which also includes the chairs of WHPK, COUP, MAB, DOC Films, and University Theatre.

Adam Kissel, current student liaison to the Board of Trustees, submitted an amendment that would require that MAB release the information about its expenditures to the entire student body because of the large amounts of money that it spends on concerts.

“I think it needs to be opened up to the University. It doesn’t mean death for MAB; maybe students think that it’s a great way for the University to spend their student activities fee,” Hammond said.

MAB sponsors quarterly concerts that cost a great deal of money and, because of the lack of a large venue on campus, only about 1,000 students can attend each event. Many Assembly members feel that this is an unfair allocation of the student activities fee money.

“We hold no other RSOs to this standard. RSOs have to make their spending information available to SG, but not to the whole student body,” said Jen Bird, director of the Office of the Reynolds Club and Student Activities.

The Assembly subsequently amended the proposition to say that PCC would have to reveal its expenditures to SG, but not to the entire student body. The resolution was passed with a majority vote.