Student Association

SA fails to meet quorum, discusses possible election changes

Liam Sheehan | Staff Photographer

A location change delayed the start of the meeting initially, and the meeting started 15 minutes late.

The Syracuse University Student Association again failed to reach quorum for its Monday night meeting, the second time it has happened this semester.

A location change delayed the start of the meeting initially, and the meeting started 15 minutes late. To start an SA meeting, there needs to be more than 50 percent of voting members in attendance. SA last failed to meet quorum on Feb. 13.

Despite Monday’s attendance, though, members of the bylaw committee discussed possible changes to the SA elections process.

Andrew Regalado, the SA speaker of the assembly, said there were only 15 members at the Monday night meeting, two fewer than what is required for quorum.

“We weren’t voting on anything tonight, so that’s OK,” Regalado said, referring to the lack of quorum.

There wasn’t just a lack of attendance among voting members, though. Of the 17 cabinet members, only three were present at Monday’s meeting. SA President Eric Evangelista and Vice President Joyce LaLonde were at the University Lecture Series event where Humans of New York creator Brandon Stanton spoke. Evangelista is the undergraduate student representative to the University Lecture Series advisory team.

During the meeting, the newly-formed Bylaws Review Committee gave a presentation about potential changes to the SA elections process. No proposed changes will affect the upcoming SA election for the 2017-18 academic year, said Eddie Devino, an assembly member.

Devino said one potential change would be to allow students running for executive positions to campaign in Schine Student Center.

Separating the ticket between a president and vice president was another possible change to the elections process that Devino discussed. There were also discussions on how this idea could provide an opportunity for individuals to run on their own ideas and balance out the checks and balances within the executive branch.

“I think this could solve some problems,” Devino said.

This would provide separation between certain positions voted on by the student body: president, vice president and comptroller. Currently, a president-vice president ticket can campaign for a comptroller together, said Janine Bogris, SA’s chair of board of elections and membership.

Having a separate ballot could provide more validity to the work that’s been done by vice presidents in the past, said Obi Afriyie, the SA parliamentarian. The last three vice presidents — LaLonde, Jane Hong and Daniela Lopez — did a lot of work that may not have received the same amount of credit compared to presidents, Afriyie said.

The Bylaws Review Committee will continue to go through the bylaws and update what they believe is necessary for upcoming sessions. Devino said he promised to update assembly members with “what is going on” in the committee.

“These are big changes,” Devino said.

There was also a presentation by Regalado and assembly member Sophia Faram about their trip to the 2016 Atlantic Coast Conference Student Leadership Symposium.

Faram and Regalado were accompanied by Abdulaziz Al-Sulaiti and LaLonde, representing SU. At the event, representatives from all 15 ACC schools were present. Keynote speakers included Kevin Powell, a political activist, as well as administrative figures from Wake Forest University, this year’s host.

There were different committees at the event, including one that focused on immigration and refugees. The immigration and refugees group brought together members and asked them to share how they personally felt about themselves. Regalado said he wants to use some of the ideas shared at the symposium and practice them at SU.

There was also a bill presented Monday by Afriyie called the “Permanent Initiatives Bill.” This bill would allow initiatives to be carried over from one legislative session to another and allow SA members to vote on the initiative to become permanent.

The bill will be voted on at a future meeting, Afriyie said.

A second bill, presented again by Afriyie, was to make the bylaws committee a permanent committee. The committee, which was initiated on Feb. 20, is currently temporary. However, Afriyie wants to make it permanent due to the committee’s large amount of work, he said. This bill will also be voted on at an upcoming meeting, he said.

While Evangelista was not present at the meeting, Regalado said on his behalf that Evangelista is currently working on finalizing the budget for SA’s 61st legislative session.

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