Jan 262011
Authors: Andrew Carrera

The Associated Students of CSU senators and cabinet officials tackled issues ranging from election reform to impeachment rule changes Wednesday night against a backdrop of their growing discontent with current Senate norms.

Current ASCSU campaign laws fine individuals who break election rules in persuing their hopes of being voted into office but leave out deadlines for when the money must be turned in.

“It’s an ambiguity in the election code,” said Andrew Ives, ASCSU elections manager. “But the bill that was passed tonight changes that.”

Senators voted 12-8-7 in favor of a bill –– legislation penned partially by Ives ––, which specifically establishes a date for campaign fines filed against ASCSU candidates during the spring election season to be paid.

Sen. Mohamed Jefri of the College of Business spoke against the bill when it became an item of discussion during last week’s Jan. 19 Senate session.

“I was looking at it from a campaign perspective. It was like, hey, that’s not fair. Why should they pay?” Jefri said.

But in conversations with ASCSU alumni, it became clear to Jefri that previous election laws inadvertently punished fee-paying students, and a change needed to be made.

“The election gets funded by student fees,” he said. “And it’s not fair to students that this penalty money never gets paid.”

Jefri was also a co-sponsor of a resolution that was discussed, which changes the conditions for an unexcused absence in the Senate.

Under current Senate bylaws, a senator’s absence is considered excused if there is an associate senator present to take the senator’s place. Each senator is allowed five absences before impeachment processes against him or her can begin –– a measure that has yet to be enforced by current ASCSU officers.

The resolution, written by Sen. Keegan Schulz from the College of Natural Sciences, redefines unexcused absences to include sessions in which associate senators attend in place of senators.

“We definitely have people who show up once or twice at the beginning of the year and then never show up,” Schulz said on Monday. “This shouldn’t happen.”

The resolution was assigned to the Senate Committee of Internal Affairs after being discussed in Senate. ASCSU Speaker Pro Tempore Andy Shank explained that the bill would likely resurface for further procedural votes during the next Senate session on Feb. 2.

Legislation that explicitly defines an ASCSU election candidate as innocent of campaign violation until proven guilty was also discussed and passed by a vote of 20-0-7.

ASCSU Beat Reporter Andrew Carrera can be reached at news@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:00 pm

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