Undergraduate Student Government (USG) senator and fifth-semester political science major Nicholas Teeling will present legislation at today’s USG senate meeting in support of opening an ad hoc committee recently created to review USG’s governing documents to students not in USG.
Ad hoc committees are temporary USG committees created for a single purpose as dictated by the USG senate, executive board or constitution. Their membership can be made up of USG senators, members of the executive board and outside members of the student body, Teeling said in an email.
Teeling said that he is not opposed to the committee itself, but rather, to the way its membership was decided. He said he feels students who are not in USG should have a voice on the committee.
“(The current members of this committee are) the president of USG, the speaker of the senate, the chief justice and four USG senators, with each one representing each class by credit,” Teeling said. “In order to gain admittance to the committee, senators had to apply and submit a letter of intent on why they feel they should serve on the committee.”
Teeling said he believes a closed group was not the right choice for this committee’s purpose, which is why he, with the support of several other senators, decided to create legislation to voice their concerns and support opening the committee to students not in USG.
“We hope that our efforts to open membership up for this committee to not only our colleagues, but especially students outside of an elected position,” Teeling said. “Changes to our constitution could change how clubs receive funding, how students are represented in USG, etc. Changes to our governing documents will be deeply felt by every student and we need to make sure we get these changes right.”
Teeling said he thinks changing this closed ad hoc committee into a more open senate subcommittee which students outside of USG could join would allow for a greater amount of student commentary as USG reviews its governing documents.
“The hope here is to solicit as much input as we can before we make these changes,” Teeling said. “I am hoping this committee rallies the community as a whole together and empowers students to take a proactive approach to how their student government functions and operates.”
This particular ad hoc committee was created in accordance with a mandate in Section XIX, Article 3 of the USG Constitution, Teeling said.
“Every four years, beginning in the fall of 2005, an ad-hoc committee shall be convened with the explicit task of reviewing the Constitution of the Undergraduate Student Government, proposing amendments, modifications and revision as necessary,” the Article reads.
Molly Desrochers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.