January 25, 2011

Student Assembly Creates Four Student Representative Positions

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The Student Assembly will add four additional positions to its existing 23: three new undesignated At-Large Representatives and one Freshman At-Large Representative in the next elections. The resolution was approved on Jan. 7.S.A. President Vincent Andrews ’11, who sponsored Resolution 44, which called for the additional positions, said the increase in membership will help the S.A. deal with its workload.   “I felt that the S.A. had so many issues and initiatives … that we didn’t have enough manpower to address all the issues that needed to be addressed,” Andrews said.“As the Student Assembly has improved its own internal functioning with the direct election of President and Executive Vice President, the S.A. is more in tune with the student body and active and involved in addressing issues,” Andrews said.  Some of the S.A.’s 13 committees have been ineffective due to over-committed members, Andrews said. “There are S.A. members in two, three, or four committees around the University … [they are] pressed for time,” said S.A. Representative Adam Gitlin ’13, vice president for internal operations. Programs such as the Women’s Issues Committee received less attention because the S.A.’s two female members were deeply involved in many other committees, according to S.A. Representative Natalie Raps ’12, vice president for public relations.  Raps said she hopes that additional seats will allow for better distribution of work and for more women to be involved in the S.A. Resolution 44 passed by a few votes.   “It is a simple fact that we as students are hard pressed to meet all of the challenges and issues we face on campus. [This change] will bring more hands on deck,” said S.A. Arts and Sciences Representative Ankur Bajaj ’13. Currently, there are four Member At-Large slots; two of which are filled through the elections of President and Executive Vice President.  Freshman class elections are often competitive, according to Andrews. This fall, 23 freshmen ran for three available Freshman At-Large positions. “Four at large seats allow any student to run. It makes it less of a numbers game,” Raps said. “There were [people outside of the S.A.] who were interested in more positions by class or by college … It’s too early to tell if this was the best way to do it.”

Original Author: Tajwar Mazhar