Campus, News

Union bends voting rules due to low attendance, Beanpot

Many Boston University students watched the Terriers win their 29th Beanpot last night. Unfortunately for the BU Student Union, some of those spectators included General Assembly voting members.’

Only 16 of the 39 GA voting members attended last night’s General Assembly meeting ‘-‘- which occurred almost simultaneously with the game ‘-‘- leaving the Union four people shy of the voting members needed for a voting quorum. But with five issues scheduled to be decided upon ‘-‘- including electing two new cabinet members, adopting a funding proposal, passing a proposal that will prevent students from holding classes during registration and not approving the funding to create a Union beanie ‘-‘- Union President Matt Seidel and Union Vice President Paula Griffin chose to hold the votes anyway.

Voting members who were not present will have 48 hours to email their objections to last night’s decisions, otherwise the meeting’s results will be considered final. This will be the first time Union has conducted email voting in Seidel’s, who is a College of Arts and Sciences junior, memory, he said.

Union failed to reach quorum despite the fact that the constitution states, ‘All voting General Assembly members must attend all General Assembly meetings or appoint a proxy in their stead.’ Union has not reached quorum a few times in the past few years, Seidel said.

Leo Gameng, the Campus Safety chairman and a Brownstone Council representative missed the meeting to go to the Beanpot at the Boston Garden, but he sent a voting proxy in his place. Gameng said he was upset that he did not have the opportunity to weigh in on last night’s decisions, but voting members who did not send a proxy will have the opportunity to make their opinions known through email.

‘They changed the rules without me knowing,’ Gameng, a CAS senior who also missed the campus safety spotlight presentation that he was supposed to deliver last night, said. ‘It’s not fair to me.’

Seidel said he and Griffin were simply trying to move Union matters along.

‘When Paula and I discussed’ [email voting] outside, we said these are very important proposals,’ Seidel said. ‘These are things that can’t wait.’

In a 13 to two decision ‘-‘- one voter abstained ‘-‘- Union passed a class registration reform proposal. This proposal will prevent students from reserving classes for friends by registering for classes that they did not plan on enrolling in.

‘It’s unfair when people hold classes and try to bypass the number system,’ Anant Shukla, a CAS junior and CAS voting member who presented the proposal, said.

The proposal attempts to thwart this problem by preventing students from enrolling in classes for which they do not have prerequisites for and by preventing them from registering for classes that they have already taken. Students can meet with professors if they want to enroll in a class that violates these requirements.

Not everyone at last night’s meeting in CAS room 222 was pleased with this proposal, however.

‘I am currently in a class where 15 people tried to get written into the class, and none of them could because the room wasn’t big enough,’ Residence Life Chairwoman Meredith Reid said. Reid, a CAS senior, also said she has never personally had any problems with registration and does not see a need to make any changes.

Shukla said he is excited about this proposal passing, and that based on his conversation with administrators, he thinks it could be put in place in time for the upcoming registration season.’ ‘

The voting members also unanimously welcomed two new Cabinet members: Maddy Kendall, a School of Education freshman as School Spirit chairwoman and College of Communication sophomore Amy Mahler as Social Affairs director.

‘I just want to get people to see us less as a legislative body,’ Mahler said of her main goal. ‘I have a feeling that people think of Student Union as a government body, but we are really an advocacy group, and people should understand us from that perspective.’

One Comment

  1. why are people so dumb?

    The Union Constitution requires a General Assembly Meeting every other Monday. Either way, the meeting would have occurred during one of the Beanpot games.