The Student Assembly listened to arguments over whether to change class council positions from elected offices to appointments at yesterday’s meeting.
The senior, junior and sophomore class councils ratified an amendment to the councils’ constitution which designates a “class council selection committee” to interview and appoint all future members.
Since the assembly partially funds the class councils, it must approve the change in the constitution before it can take effect.
“Democratically elected positions aren’t necessary because we don’t set policy,” said Senior Class President Claire Ackerman ’01, who answered questions at the meeting about the change in the constitution.
Currently, the constitution requires council members to run for office on the same ballot as S.A. candidates, although the two organizations are not affiliated.
Members of the council stressed that they view themselves as a programming board, not as a group that makes decisions on behalf of its class.
“You don’t need to be an [elected] representative in order to program,” said Scott Belsky ’02, another member of the council.
“I’ve never thought of class councils as programming boards,” said S.A. Derrick Zandpour ’02. “They’re called senior class councils, not senior class programming board.”
But according to the class councils web site, “the purpose of the Senior Class Council is to help create a class identity by sponsoring mostly free events for class members.”
In the class council elections held last spring, all but one of the positions was uncontested. In two of the races, no one ran, leaving two spots vacant this year.
“The number of people who have submitted to run for a position has dwindled down considerably,” Ackerman said.
Council members believed that the change to appointed positions would boost the number of students interested in becoming class council members.
Belsky noted that many students do not want to go through the process of campaigning for a position, but would rather submit an application and be interviewed for the position.
The members also hoped that choosing their members would “ensure the [eligibility] of the candidate,” Belsky said.
“Elections do not serve that purpose now,” he added.
S.A. members had many questions about the change before voting on it.
“How can I be senior class president and not get a single vote from the senior class?” asked S.A. Executive Vice-President Mark Greenbaum ’02.
Ackerman explained how she views her role as class president.
“I can honestly say I’ve never represented the entire Class of 2001,” she responded to Greenbaum. “I’m considered president of the class, but I do not represent the class. There’s a very thin line there.”
“We’re not looking for politicians, we’re just looking for programmers,” Belsky said.
The assembly will vote on whether to approve the councils’ constitution change at next week’s meeting.
Archived article by Maggie Frank