Legislative Council: Releasing Vote Records
In its second open meeting, the ASUCI Legislative Council discusses a proposal to record the vote of each member.
The ASUCI Legislative Council met on Tuesday, Oct. 9 to discuss a variety of issues including parking, threats of fee increases and a proposed amendment called the R48-02 By-law Amendment.
This amendment, if enacted, would change the current system of recording votes cast by Legislative Council members. The current method records the vote count in the minutes of the meetings, but it does not record who voted for what. The amendment would place the name of each council member by their voting decision. This would allow constituents to look up their representative’s voting history.
The author of the amendment is sophomore Reza Zomorrodian, an At-Large Representative. Zomorrodian argued that the members of the Legislative Council should be willing to stand by their voting record and show their constituents where they stand on key issues.
He emphasized that the goal of the amendment is to bring transparency to the Legislative Council and increase student trust in ASUCI, and, as the amendment reads, “to properly hold [representatives] accountable for their actions.”
ASUCI President Traci Ishigo was one of the voices of dissent, questioning whether it was necessary to reveal the voting records of representatives to the public. There was a consensus among several members that representatives on the Legislative Council should have the right to maintain the current system and not force representatives to release their voting records.
Other council members found problems with particular sections of the amendment and moved to have more time to discuss the amendment and allow Zomorrdorian to change uncertainties in the proposal.
Senior Nicole Hisatomi, an At-Large Representative, was concerned about some vagueness within the amendment as to how long it would take to change the voting records after a Council member leaves and how that could affect Council members later in life.
“The idea is that we are very young students, and even in the past three years we’ve changed a lot since we’ve gone from high school to college,” she said. “We’ve changed a lot, and who’s to say that as we grow up a little bit more in the next five to ten years — we would have changed completely.
“We might have different values and believe different things, and what was right for us [now] might not be right for us [in the future],” Hisatomi said.
Hisatomi went on to predict what changes Zomorrodian would make to the amendment for Tuesday and explain the focus of the debate.
The Council’s division over the bill made a consensus impossible, and the amendment has been tabled. The Council will continue the discussion during its next meeting after Zomorrodian revises the proposed amendment and submits it again for discussion.