Downtown students to vote on constitution

Downtown students will vote on a new constitution and elections code Tuesday.

Downtown students will have the opportunity to vote on a new government constitution and elections code Tuesday, even though many said they were unaware of the vote or the contents of the ballot.

The Undergraduate Student Government Downtown approved the referendum Friday in a 9-3 decision. Voting was scheduled to begin at midnight Tuesday and will close at 4 p.m.

President Joseph Grossman said at Friday’s meeting he wanted to complete voting before the semester ended so government representatives could start working on the universal constitution as soon as students returned from winter break.

The passage of the new Downtown constitution would be a step toward the creation of a universal constitution — a single governing document each ASU undergraduate government would follow. Representatives from the governments said the overall goal is to unify the campuses, moving closer to ASU President Michael Crow’s vision of “one university in many places.”

Downtown Sen. Rachel Cassinat, a dietetics junior, said she didn’t personally understand the rush to pass her government’s constitution this semester.

She said many of the students she talked to were unaware of the new constitution.

“If this really is for the students, why are they so unaware of it?” Cassinat said.

One of the students not aware of the vote was criminal justice freshman Martin Trepanier.

“I haven’t heard anything about a new constitution,” Trepanier said Monday evening. “I’ll probably vote, but I don’t know what I’ll vote yet.”

Grossman said government representatives originally scheduled the electronic vote for Monday, but the email linking students to the online ballot would not have been sent out until 3 or 4 p.m.

The 16-hour voting period is so short because students are not supposed to vote on Reading Day or during finals — a rule established by ASU administration, Grossman said.

All students who live on the Downtown campus, take at least one credit hour or work on campus were scheduled to receive an email at midnight with a link to read the new constitution and election code, and vote on them, Grossman said.

Nursing junior and Downtown Sen. Danielle Sandler said she thought the new constitution has not been publicized well.

“We should have had an open forum before we even passed the referendum,” she said.

Sandler said she thought a better plan would have been to work on the constitution throughout the spring semester, which would give more students time to read it and give their input.

Nursing freshman Allison Mundine said she also had not heard about the new constitution and probably would not vote.

“If they had posted about it in my major’s Facebook group or put fliers by the (Downtown campus dorm’s) elevators, I might have known about it,” Mundine said.

Poly and West constitutions

The Polytechnic and West student governments also approved referendums on new constitutions Friday.

At a meeting Monday morning, USG Polytechnic President Josh Hoyt and other members of the Polytechnic student government decided to hold their student vote at the beginning of the spring semester.

Hoyt said the final date has not been decided yet, but a vote will take place in early to mid-January.

A USG West representative was unavailable for comment Monday. USG West President Josh Tucker said Sunday night it was unlikely the West campus students would vote this semester.

Reach the reporter at julia.shumway@asu.edu or follow @JMShumway on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.