Student governments could unify with new proposal

A draft of a new, unified student government constitution may bring ASU’s motto of “one University in many places” closer to fruition, student leaders said.

The Associated Students at ASU’s West campus worked throughout the semester to complete a rough draft of a unified constitution that could replace existing documents at each of the university’s four campuses, said Ben Goodrich, attorney general of ASASUW.

Goodrich said the motion would allow “greater coordination, organization and communication through West, Tempe, Downtown and Polytechnic.”

Discussions about a single, campus-wide constitution began early this year, said Matt McCoy, president of the Polytechnic campus student government.

The West campus made a significant effort to present the concept to the rest of the University, and meetings that followed were promising, he said.

“We’re closer than we ever were in working together,” McCoy said.

Despite the changes, Goodrich said the basics of each constitution would remain the same. The new constitution would just aim to encourage better coordination between the campuses, he said.

“Honestly, I had no idea how Tempe ran their house,” he said.

For example, Goodrich said he did not know that the Tempe campus had two vice presidents instead of one. Improved communication between the campuses would help prevent such confusion.

Although an initial draft is complete, students will most likely have to wait until next year before voting on the measure.

Most of the student leaders felt it was better to wait until a final draft is created before putting the new constitution into action.

Goodrich said the draft leaders have now doesn’t quite work, and that it doesn’t flow as well as they would like.

“Overall people just had a couple of questions working out final verbiage,” McCoy said. “I’m pretty sure this will pass at other campuses.”

The creation of a unified constitution is not without problems, however.

“Students are at all the different campuses, and we need to recognize that,” McCoy said.

Modifications to student government constitutions must be approved in a vote by the student body. In order to pass, two-thirds of the voters must be in favor of the changes.

Voting is expected to take place during the spring semester of 2011.

To accommodate for the differences between campuses, each location would have its own set of bylaws. The addition of bylaws would address concerns a number of students have about the concept of a single constitution.

Biology senior Rachel DeAlejandro said including bylaws for each campus would solve problems of having one set of rules for each campus.

“They’re different [campuses],” said DeAlejandro, a student at the Downtown campus. “They should have different rules.”

Rud Moe, a sustainability sophomore at the Tempe campus, was also concerned about each campus’ needs, but said a single constitution would prove beneficial to the University.

Students at ASU’s West campus already voted and approved the adoption of a unified constitution, but will retain their current system until the other campuses vote on the issue next spring.

“We wanted to see if this was something students would be interested in,” Goodrich said.

Reach the reporter at jsnyder3@asu.edu


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