On Monday night, the Boston University student body was captivated by the BU Men’s Hockey Team’s thrilling victory in the Beanpot Tournament finale.’ The Beanpot is one of the most important school spirit events of the entire year, and one might expect that BU’s Student Union president would be there to show support for his school.’ But for some reason, Union President Matt Seidel decided instead that the perfect time to hold a General Assembly meeting would be during this much-anticipated game.
It’s obvious that this meeting was doomed from the start.’ It’s common sense that meeting attendance is going to be very low when the pride and joy of BU athletics is going for its 29th Beanpot title.’ But even more disturbing is what Seidel decided to do when a quorum could not be reached: he chose to ignore his own rules.’
A constitution, even one for a student union is not something that one can just break whenever it is most convenient.’ It doesn’t matter if Seidel believes that the proposals up for vote on Monday ‘couldn’t wait,’ he is not the one who should be passing this judgment; that is the job of the majority of the General Assembly.’ But were these proposals so urgent to begin with that they couldn’t even wait another day?’ The Union doesn’t have the power to make immediate changes to the course registration system in the first place, and it’s hard to believe that voting for Union beanies couldn’t be put off until the next meeting.’
Seidel, of course, can’t take all the blame. As president, his effectiveness is limited by the strength of the Union’s GA members.’ As mandated in the Student Union’s constitution,’ ‘All voting General Assembly members must attend all General Assembly meetings or appoint a proxy in their stead.” Understandably, some members were going to be at the hockey game, but it is stunning that so many were irresponsible enough to fail to appoint someone to go in their place.’
The Union has had a long history of failing to get things accomplished quickly. The way to move faster in implementing the changes that students want is through better communication and leadership.’ Circumventing its own constitution to expedite the process of passing initiatives may be acceptable to Siedel, but if the Union wants to get things done the right way, this kind of behavior cannot be tolerated.