ASUCI Legislative Council passed a resolution last Tuesday to form a committee in charge of updating ASUCI by-laws, which the council claims are “outdated” as a result of the new ASUCI constitution passed last month.
The legislation, R51-82, stipulates that the seven ASUCI members comprising the ad-hoc committee will hold weekly meetings open to all ASUCI members as well as UCI undergraduates. Members of the public are encouraged to offer input to the By-Laws Revision Committee, in an effort to foster transparency and student consensus.
According to the legislation, ASUCI by-laws have not been updated since 2015. Following the approval of a new ASUCI constitution in April 2016, issues have arisen regarding conflicting language between the constitution and ASUCI by-laws, as well as elections code.
“The by-laws have become outdated due to the fact that a new constitution has been put in place and [is] prone to cause several unnecessary confusions and disagreements,” according to the legislation. “These confusions have hindered process and procedures and caused many cases to be brought up in recent years.”
Most recently, following ASUCI’s spring 2016 elections, two disagreements over candidate disqualification procedure were brought before Judicial Board in the cases of Academic Affairs and Administrative Affairs Vice President candidates Tianna Nand and Tej Vuligonda. In both cases, Judicial Board ruled that inconsistent and unclear elections code and by-laws caused unnecessary disqualifications of candidates.
Other complications this year have included disputes over whether ASUCI council members not present at meetings are allowed to count as “abstain” votes in the total calculation of results, and what attendance quorum is needed to vote on certain measures.
Following their decisions on these cases, Judicial Board recommended that Legislative Council change elections code and by-laws promptly in order to avoid future conflicts. ASUCI Legislative Council is currently reforming elections code, and expects to begin By-Laws Reform Committee meetings as soon as elections code reform is complete.
The By-Laws Reform Committee hopes to draft an updated version of the by-laws by the end of spring quarter 2016, to ensure a “smooth transition as soon as the new constitution comes into effect,” but have set a hard deadline for the start of fall quarter 2016, according to ASUCI council speaker pro-tempore Tin Hong.