GSC wants changes in ASA constitution
By Lakshmana Rao
At its full council meeting last Thursday, the Graduate Student Council adopted a resolution proposing changes in the constitution of the Association of Student Activities. The changes would allow the GSC and the Undergraduate Association greater participation in the ASA's decision-making process.
The recommended changes stemmed from complaints made by GSC and UA members that those organizations are not being adequately represented in the decisions made by the ASA, according to GSC President Furio Ciacci G.
The changes proposed by the GSC call for the appointment of a separate body consisting of representation from the ASA, GSC, UA and the Office of the Dean for Student Affairs. The group would be responsible for allocating and reallocating space among activities and mediating and arbitrating conflicts between campus groups. The GSC resolution suggests that this body should ex
ist independently of the current ASA executive committee.
"The proposed guidelines are very flexible and form the basis for further dialogue with the UA and the ASA," Ciacci said.
Ciacci presented the GSC resolution to the UA Executive Committee on Sunday. According to UA President Stacy E. McGeever '93, the executive members did not support the creation of the GSC-proposed body, but agreed that there is a problem with
the lack of accountability of the ASA. "Constitutional changes of the ASA have not figured in the agenda of the UA meetings so far," McGeever said.
Executive committee may already
have representations GSC seeks
According to the ASA's current constitution, its executive committee is the administrative and judicial body of the organization and is directly responsible for space allocation and inter-activity disputes, in conjunction with the Dean's office. The ASA executive committee includes the president, treasurer, secretary, one member at large from the UA, one member at large from the GSC and a representative each from the GSC and the UA. The officers of the ASA are elected by the general assembly, consisting of representatives of all student groups on campus.
"The current executive committee of the ASA does have the student body representation which is proposed by the GSC," said Ted E. Johnson, program coordinator of the Campus Activities Complex. "It is possible that the GSC representatives have neglected to attended many meetings of the ASA, and hence feel that their interests are not being reflected in the decisions taken by the ASA," he added.
ASA President Kathleen Mahoney '92 thought the GSC's recommendations would not improve the way ASA functions. She added that "The problems the recommendations are designed to fix don't even exist." Mahoney attributed the GSC resolution to miscommunication between the graduate students and ASA.
"The general body voted
[the recommendations] down on Sept. 24," said ASA Secretary Michael J. Person '92. "It failed by almost unanimous consent," he added.
Johnson felt that allocation of student activity space was a very difficult task to administer on campus. "We have very little space to allocate. While all of us are enthusiastic to allocate new space to student activities, we must also realize that it is very difficult to de-allocate space to the existing groups at any given time," he said.
Associate Dean of Student Affairs James R. Tewhey said that he is currently listening to various parties regarding the GSC proposal and does not have any opinion in this regard.