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USC questions voting status
By Aaron Wherry
A University Students' Council ad hoc committee scrambled late last night to prepare a much anticipated report which could dramatically alter the structure of council.
The committee, created by council to evaluate the composition of council, hopes to present their final report to council next week, said Jeff Clayman, USC legal affairs officer and committee chair.
Recommendations will be made by the committee to council concerning voting status, member responsibilities and the basic structure of the USC corporation, Clayman said.
"The committee has tried to view everything from an objective criteria," he said. "It's very different when you supplant what you want, with what is right."
The ad hoc committee made a preliminary report to council on Dec. 6 detailing the progress made since the committee formed in October. The document explained membership in the council could be divided between internal members those elected or acclaimed to council and external members those who are official representatives of an external organization.
According to the report, only internal members should have voting status.
Faculty presidents, who are considered external members under these definitions, already requested the committee remove their voting privileges. In a letter dated Nov. 22 and signed by all 10 faculty presidents, the ad hoc committee was advised to shift voting privileges to elected councillors.
"It is our recommendation that the voting privileges currently held by the faculty council presidents be transferred to an additional councillor from each respective faculty," the letter stated. The letter explains presidents should instead be granted full ex-officio status, including the ability to remain in chambers during confidential sessions.
Mike Lawless, King's College president, said he is concerned the upcoming final report may lead to affiliate college presidents losing their voting status. "I'm little concerned by the removal of faculty president votes [because] by virtue of that, affiliate presidents may be removed from voting status," he said. "If that happens it could damage the relationship [between affiliates and the USC]."
Kristina Lundblad, media, information and technoculture councillor, said she was concerned with the possible changes to voting status. "I think they want their cake and eat it too," she said. Lundblad explained a conflict is created when those not under USC by-laws are still allowed to sit in on confidential meetings.