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Letters to the Editor

Quorum Needed For Legitimacy


I have no doubt that you will receive many vociferous responses to the article “Simmons Funds Can Still Be Used to Hire Strippers”. While I am sure much of the indignation over the poor taste of the organizers is merited, I’d like to make a more mundane point regarding Simmons’ constitution. Why on earth don’t they require a quorum?

As an alumnus of the fraternity system here at MIT, I can personally attest to the usefulness of requiring that a certain percentage of the voting members be present for passing legislation. Obviously, the potential downside of a quorum is that the government might not be able to pass any legislation, which I would point out may not be such a bad thing considering the current circumstances.

I would recommend that Simmons consider adding a quorum rule to their constitution. If the required level of participation cannot be met, then that will say something important about what type of community the dormitory really is and therefore what type of governing body its students should have. Simmons’ constitution makes the case that the dormitory should be a community (the “House”) much like those found in the fraternity and sorority systems here at MIT. Therefore, the constitution is written with such a community in mind. If Simmons really is the community that its constitution writers envisioned, then making quorum should be not be a problem. But, if quorum cannot be met and the government becomes powerless, then the dormitory should rewrite its constitution so as to be appropriate to whatever their actual living situation may be: a group of people with shared interests living together, rather than a group of people who are pursuing common ideals and consider themselves part of a greater whole.

M. Scott Bradley G