The Tech - Online EditionMIT's oldest and largest
newspaper & the first
newspaper published
on the web
Boston Weather: 40.0°F | Partly Cloudy and Breezy

UA Tables Motion for Direct Election of Councillors

By Dana Levine

ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

The Undergraduate Association defeated legislation at last night’s Council meeting which would have allowed for the direct election of UA Councillors.

The bill, co-authored by Christopher R. Rezek ’99 and newly-elected Vice President Mendel Chuang ’02, would have replaced the current model of councillor selection with a standardized system overseen by the UA. The current system allows each dorm and the Interfraternity Council to elect their representatives through a method of their own choice.

The motion failed by an 8-7-5 vote, but was eventually tabled for the next UA council meeting.

Rezek drew a historical comparison to the 18th amendment, which switched selection of U.S. Senators from the state legislatures to popular vote. “I think that proportional voting has a track record for representing what people really think,” he said.

Chuang believes that making the timing of elections uniform “will get more people to vote.”

Rezek said the bill failed because “there was a lot of confusion around it.” Discussion of the motion led to a number of amendments, including one which would have split the nine IFC representatives into five elected by FSILG members and four selected by the IFC Council.

While the bill originally proposed popular election of IFC representatives by FSILG members, the IFC has traditionally appointed its members and was reluctant to give up this power.

“The thing that you have to remember is that they are not IFC councillors. They are councillors representing residential FSILGs,” said UA President Matthew L. McGann ’00. “The IFC has jurisdiction over the residential and non-residential ILG system and their input will be important.”

McGann is hopeful that the bill can be revised over the next few weeks to become a viable piece of legislation. “I hope that we can make some compromises and be able to solve the problems that the UA council currently has,” McGann said.