The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 70.0°F | Partly Cloudy

UA Constitutional Debacle Is New Low

The leadership of the Undergraduate Association has reached a new low in its brazen manipulation of its own rules. Yesterday's unsuccessful attempt to replace the UA constitution has further broken leaders' trust with the student body. The action would be laughable if it wasn't so heinous a violation of their own constitution.

The motion that was used to replace the constitution read: "Resolved, that the Undergraduate Association Council make amendments to the UA Constitution without regard to provisions of the previous Constitution." Any reasonable person, regardless of their background, can see that this is simply smoke-and-mirror phraseology being used to hide a flagrant violation of the rules.

What is even more frightening is that this is not the first time the UA has played with the rules. In the middle of the past election, to the consternation of The Tech and the candidates, they abruptly changed the dates and requirements. Thankfully, in the resulting furor, the Judicial Review Board stayed the action and the UA president vetoed it.

But it seems that the UA cronies (including non-student Jason Solinsky '94) are intent not only on repeating their mistakes, but on making them worse. We would like to know why leaders of the UA did not learn to follow the correct process after their first scandal. MIT undergraduates deserve more from their leaders.

The previous constitution was written by people who knew that their successors might try to make rash changes. They wisely formulated protections, checks, and balances to keep the constitution coherent and viable. But no protection is effective if the officers choose to simply run roughshod over the rules. Thankfully, the UAC recognized this yesterday and demanded that the rules be followed.

Furthermore, by their own admission, council members waltzed into yesterday's meeting without having seen the text of the new constitution. Rarely has MIT witnessed so great an impropriety as the suspension of UA rules to replace an old constitution with a new document sight unseen. No matter how important the changes, there is time to make them according to the rules and with proper consideration.

The constitution is the fundamental document of student government. To change it in such a reckless, injudicious, and immature manner is a disgrace that should not be allowed to happen.

Copyright 19,95, The Tech. All rights reserved.
This story was published on .
Volume 115, Number 24.
This story appeared on page 4.

This article may be freely distributed electronically, provided it is distributed in its entirety and includes this notice, but may not be reprinted without the express written permission of The Tech. Write to for additional details.