ASUCI Seeks Update To Constitution
Amidst ASUCI election season, revising the ASUCI Constitution remains an important issue to Legislative Council. Last Thursday, the council unanimously passed a legislation endorsing the ASUCI Constitutional Amendments Proposal.
“We’re trying to reform ASUCI,” said Council Speaker Pro-Tempore Alvin Phan. Phan authored R50-69, the original proposal legislation, as well as R50-76, the legislation that endorsed the proposal.
“The constitution hasn’t been updated for over a decade and we want to change a lot of things inside the constitution and make sure it reflects our current operational procedures,” he said.
Earlier this year, legislative council formed the Constitutional Revision Committee. Various ASUCI officers and members participated and opened the committee to the UCI community. Based on recommendations from the committee, legislative council passed R50-69 emphasizing that the ASUCI Constitution is filled with redundancies and inconsistencies. Various offices within ASUCI have been working together to write new referenda language that will be put on the ballot this spring.
R50-76 set up an account with funding that will be used to campaign for the constitutional amendments. The sum of funding will be decided by the ASUCI Executive Cabinet and approved by legislative council. Out of fairness, funds are set aside for both the endorsement campaign as well as any campaign that seeks to reject the proposed amendments.
To pass as a referendum on the ballot, the ASUCI Constitutional Amendments Proposal will require a collective pursuit by ASUCI in order to be successfully articulated to the student body. When legislative council members asked who is expected to help out with the campaign, Taylor Chanes, manager of the ASUCI Constitution referendum campaign, responded based on her experiences campaigning thus far.
“I am asking for anyone who is willing to help out with the campaign — I’m not asking for any unwilling members or executive cabinets to force their interns or staff to help out with the campaign, but I have seen that people from other offices have been willing,” Chanes said.
As for why a campaign is needed, ASUCI Executive Vice President Sanaa Khan elaborated on the election process. She explained that in order for the constitutional amendments to pass, it 20 percent of the student body have to vote and 60 percent have to vote yes.
“That requires actually a lot of campaigning. Some years we haven’t reached the quorum amount and other years we haven’t reached the 60 percent,” Khan said.
ASUCI members have already started coming up with a message for the student body about how the referendum benefits students, like providing access to representation.
“We have listed the main changes for them and are trying to be as transparent as possible about the changes and answering any questions they have,” said Chanes. “We have already started outreaching and trying to educate people on what the changes are and on both sides of the conversation.”
For the most part, members of ASUCI like Phan, Chanes and Khan believe the Constitution is in dire need of revision.
“We’re doing a lot of housekeeping and ensuring a lot of loopholes are shut,” said Phan. “This is just a new way to refresh ASUCI. One big thing that we’re doing is we’re making it easier to hold officers accountable as well. We’re making impeachment processes more clear.
“The Constitution is in dire need of revision.”