The first public forum of the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) ad hoc committee formed to revise the USG constitution and bylaws took place Thursday night and was open to all students in order to gain a wider perspective on opinions about possible changes to the documents.
The ad hoc committee will continue to be open to the whole student body, according to senator Nicholas Teeling, the author of the legislation that created the committee.
“(The committee) had been created in a transparent way that allows people outside of USG to be a part of the process,” Matthew Byanyima, a political science and economics double major, said.
USG speaker Nandun Tumu proposed that the first amendment of the ad hoc committee be to strike all amendments from the constitution. He argued that the committee should start from scratch and completely reorganize the constitution.
This amendment was passed with a 7-0 vote.
The meeting was focused on how the committee should be run and involving as many students with it as possible.
“We should try to keep it as open as possible (in editing these documents),” USG senator Noah O’Connor said.
According to Teeling, the deadline for presenting the updated constitution to USG senate is Feb. 22.
Senator Joshua Wojtyna suggested simplifying the document to make it easier for a majority of students to understand.
Other tentative changes brought up for discussion by Byanyima and Teeling included fixing typos in the documents and changing USG election procedures, as well as potentially creating senate seats for transfer and international students.
Teeling proposed adopting the governing rules used by the USG External Affairs Committee, in which everyone in attendance can have a voice in the conversation, but the right to vote is only given upon attendance of a second meeting. This set of rules was passed uncontested.
USG senator Crystal Klicin said she believes there is a lack of communication between the student body and USG and she feels more can be done to connect the student body to USG to make the committee effective.
“People feel very out of touch from USG,” Byanyima said.
Ideas about utilizing social media, such as the UConn Buy or Sell Facebook page, as well as using word of mouth, were brought up as possible ways to help raise interest in the committee by Klicin, as well as senator Joshua Crow.
Molly Desrochers is a Campus Correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.