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UAC discusses CEG changes

By Eva Moy

The Undergraduate Association Council met last night to discuss two possible changes to the Course Evaluation Guide survey and to debate a new proposed amendment to the current constitution.

Two bills proposed by the UA Standing Committee on Course Evaluations were introduced. The first provided for a separate section for comments of a humorous nature.

The proposal is intended "to address the perception that written evaluations are often used for humorous purposes only, and therefore may detract from their overall utility," the bill stated. The bill failed, 5-12-2.

The second bill proposed to include several multiple-choice questions concerning academic dishonesty in course evaluation surveys. The bill was tabled after questions arose over collection of responses, distribution of any results, the nature of the questions to ask and possible repercussions of the survey on MIT's image should specific results of this survey be made public.

UAC amends constitution

The UAC approved an amendment to their constitution which is essentially a completely reorganized constitution intended to completely replace the current constitution. Yesterday's vote was the first of two required votes in which three-fourths of quorum must approve the amendment.

The current constitution was written in 1969 and has been significantly amended once, said Hans C. Godfrey '93, UAC floor leader and author of the proposed constitution. "We're in a different age" from when the current constitution was written, Godfrey said.

"This proposed constitution does not in any way inhibit the powers of the council. Its main purpose is to resolve the ambiguity that exists in the powers of the officers," Godfrey said.

The new constitution would add a third branch, the UA Judicial Board, to the current UA government, create the office of UA Treasurer, institute presidential veto power, and more clearly define the powers of floor leader, vice chairman, UAC Steering Committee and UA Executive Committee.

UA President Stacy E. McGeever '93 defended the presidential veto. The president and executive board, who have worked closely with an issue, are qualified to decide to veto a proposal. The veto can still be overridden by a two-thirds vote of UA Council, she said.

Several council members were concerned that not all areas of the proposed constitution would be adequately discussed if it was voted upon as a whole. "If we pass an entire constitution at once, we are passing a document with which no one is completely familiar. We will also be combining into one resolution a large number of changes which should be discussed independently," David W. Hogg '92 said.

Despite the reservations of many council members, other council members stressed the importance of keeping in perspective the possibility of additional change. "Remember, we can always make changes in the future," Yevgeny Gurevich '94 said.

McGeever added that it would probably be easier to change the proposed constitution once it was passed than to continue to try to change the current constitution piece by piece.

The final vote was 26-2, including absentee votes.