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 Stories » Petition to amend the student body constitution

Petition to amend the student body constitution

submitted by jackleg on Saturday, September 21 at 7:20 PM

I'm sure most of you have heard about GB16 in student senate, which would open the door for more students to hold office in student government. It is meeting opposition from the senate. I agree with Chancellor Fox, who told me in an email, "I believe these are issues best determined by students." Therefore, there is now a petition that you, the student, can sign if you feel strongly about the exclusivity of student government as it is.

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~dtoakley/petition.doc

That's a copy of what I will be carrying around with me for the next few weeks. Anyone that has expressed interest in collecting signatures from other students in your group, dorm, etc can download a printable copy here. If you cannot print, I can meet you on campus Monday with copies.

Even if you only know yourself, print a copy and sign it if this concerns you at all. I'm willing to come pick them up from you.

Thanks

posted by scud on Saturday, September 21 at 7:28 PM

 Comments
Seth-Setesh
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If at all possible it would be advisable to get as many signatures as possible before the next senate meeting. That way during debate on GB16 we can pull the signatures up as proof that this bill really is for the students.

So print and sign, people, print and sign!

9/21/2002 8:06:41 PM

Wolfpack2K
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Just to clear up some questions others had...

PART TIME STUDENTS are welcome to sign the petition. GRADUATE students may also sign. Basically anyone who has paid their student fees is eligible to sign the petition.

It asks for your college and class so your signature can be presented to YOUR Senator.

And the Senate meeting is in less than 2 weeks from now.

And another question someone had is why is this Petition one for a constitutional amendment, when the bill just affects the Statutes? Well, in the event that Student Senate refuses to listen to you and does not pass the bill or does not override Mike Anthony's veto of it, the only other alternative is to bypass Senate altogether by a student-initiated Constitutional Amendment. That's what this is. In the event that Senate doesn't do its job, the procedure is already in place to bypass it...the signatures wouldn't need to be collected again.

So it's basically a twofold thing. The petition is to A) convince your senators and B) be a "backup plan" in case they dont listen.


[Edited on September 21, 2002 at 10:12 PM. Reason : Explain more]

9/21/2002 10:08:54 PM

aaronburro
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[Edited on September 22, 2002 at 2:21 AM. Reason : ]

9/22/2002 2:17:20 AM

InsaneMan
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if the students vote an "undesirable student" into office, was he really undesirable?

9/22/2002 2:22:33 AM

tafannin
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obviously not to everyone

9/22/2002 2:58:44 AM

gancho
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Isn't it sort of unethical to require a student to publicly divulge their private, federally-protected judicial record? Why isn't it enough just to inform the Student Senate President, if anyone? Can't a committee just check to make sure that you're OK and certify as much? If I'd made a mistake my freshman year, I wouldn't want to be required, in my junior year, to divulge that detail.

9/22/2002 4:18:25 AM

Seth-Setesh
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Because the judicial record of a student doesn't fall under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Only their academic record, which of course is not asked for in the bill.

GB 16 was written by Gary Palin, and Gary is known to be on top of the ball when it comes to writing legislation that doesn't violate our standing bylaws or any existing state or federal laws.

9/22/2002 8:16:21 AM

Wolfpack2K
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^^^

and ESPECIALLY the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act!!!

I guess the reason for that is to sort of ward off the counter-argument that students won't know who they are electing. One of the arguments last year was that if we changed the good standing requirement, then students wouldn't know that the people they were voting for are on probation. I didn't write this provision, but I would presume it was written to take care of that argument.

[Edited on September 22, 2002 at 12:57 PM. Reason : explain]

9/22/2002 12:40:41 PM

aaronburro
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OK, now that I have pulled my head out of my ass, let me restate my beefs with this. Don't be confused by the fact that "good standing" apparently still means the same thing. It DOESN'T. all it means is that you haven't done anything bogus in the past year. Again, I would personally not want anyone in the senate to be on any kind of probation. ZIf they go through the proper channels and are properly removed from the probation, then that is different. Obvisouly, if the university thinks you are an undesirable, then I don't want you trying to represent me. The standards are there for a reason.
Here are a few ideas as to why:
Academic concerns: A student is put on academic probation for not meeting university standards. Clearly, this student should be focusing on schoolwork then, instead of putting a lot of time into student government We are here first to get an education. Everything else is secondary.
Disciplinary probation: We don't let people currently in prison run for government office, so why should anyone CURRENTLY on disciplinary probation be in the student senate?
Academic integrity probation: Cheating... nuff said. WHy let someone currently on probation for cheating represent the rest of us who are getting our edcation legitimately?
Suspension: HELLO If the school doesn't want them here, WHY let them be in the senate? FUrthermore, if you are on suspension, it means you aren't taking any classes. Effectively, you are NOT a student. Why therefor, should you be a STUDENT senator, representing STUDENTS?

I have no priblem wuth letting someone who had these problems in the past representing me. Everyone deserves a second chance, but ONLY after they have completed their punishment. The sticky point with this bill is that the student doesn't have to be OUT of any probations or suspensions... Only a year away from the ISSUING of the probation or suspension. AKA, if I cheat on a test tomorrow and am put on academic integrity probation the following monday, then a year from that monday, no matter what the university thinks of me, I can run for student senate, and that just isn't right.

As for releasing your current judicial standing. At the very least, this is prudent, so students know what kind of creep they are votiong for.

[Edited on September 22, 2002 at 5:00 PM. Reason : ]

9/22/2002 4:57:52 PM

jackleg
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have you researched the running requirements for state and federal government? you should do that before you look like a dumbass again...

Quote :
"Disciplinary probation: We don't let people currently in prison run for government office, so why should anyone CURRENTLY on disciplinary probation be in the student senate?"


nevermind, you're too stupid to waste anymore time replying to you... jesus

9/22/2002 5:07:36 PM

markgoal
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1. If you are suspended from the university, you are not a currently enrolled student. You cannot be in Student government if you are not a currently enrolled student. This doesn't remove that requirement.

2.
Quote :
"If they go through the proper channels and are properly removed from the probation, then that is different. Obvisouly, if the university thinks you are an undesirable, then I don't want you trying to represent me."

The university doesn't always share my beliefs on what is "desirable", and also propose policies that I don't agree with. That's why we have STUDENT government, to get STUDENT input. I don't know about you, but I don't necessarily think Paul Cousins should be the ultimate authority on who is "desirable" to represent me.

[Edited on September 22, 2002 at 6:58 PM. Reason : a]

9/22/2002 6:57:28 PM

Wolfpack2K
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The problem is that probation lasts FOREVER. You could have done something four or five years ago, got on probation, and never again be permitted to be in Student Government, regardless of what happened in that four or five year period. That offends a sense of fairness. Certainly it is not in dispute that people can change, and that people can try to pull themselves up from bad mistakes they have made. When they're trying to do that, I view it as our obligation just as decent people to try to help them.

Quote :
"Academic concerns: A student is put on academic probation for not meeting university standards. Clearly, this student should be focusing on schoolwork then, instead of putting a lot of time into student government We are here first to get an education. Everything else is secondary."


This seems reasonable. However, as Wortham Boyle pointed out, we are not people's mommies and daddies. Maybe they should be paying attention to their schoolwork. But that is their decision to make. If they want to fritter away their time in Senate Chambers instead of studying to make decent grades, I strongly disapprove of that choice, but they are adults; it is THEIR choice to make. Not only their choice, it is the STUDENTS' choice to make whether this person should be representing them or not.

I tell you, if I were still a student, I probably wouldn't vote for them. But that would be MY RIGHT to decide. Not the right of a Student Body President or a Student Senate or anyone else. MY right.

And this rule can be misapplied as well. A senior who has had a piss poor GPA throughout his entire school career is much different than a freshman who had difficulty adjusting and consequently her GPA dropped. This happened last year; so it is not just a theoretical thing that the rule CAN be misapplied, the rule HAS been misapplied.

The University itself recognizes this distinction and offers "second chance" opportunities. The Freshman Repeat Program is a case in point. Also the Senior Re-Exam Policy is in place. Both of these procedures exist because the University realizes that sometimes mistakes happen, and students who are trying to help themselves up from those mistakes need to be allowed to do so.

Quote :
"Disciplinary probation: We don't let people currently in prison run for government office, so why should anyone CURRENTLY on disciplinary probation be in the student senate?"


I think one would be hard pressed to equate "disciplinary probation" to "prison" with any degree of credibility. If a student is in prison, and wants to run for Student Government, I would probably be very hesitant to allow it. However, disciplinary probation is just that, probation. It is not prison. Probation means that the offense isn't severe enough to suspend someone from the student community. It means that the person is given a SECOND CHANCE; "don't screw up again."

And the students, under this Bill and this Petition, would be made aware that the person they are voting for is on disciplinary probation. If they are willing, in consideration of the elapsed time and all the circumstances, to select that person to represent them, then that decision must be respected.

Quote :
"Suspension: HELLO If the school doesn't want them here, WHY let them be in the senate? FUrthermore, if you are on suspension, it means you aren't taking any classes. Effectively, you are NOT a student. Why therefor, should you be a STUDENT senator, representing STUDENTS?"


As I understand it, students on suspension would not be permitted to serve by this bill. If there is room for misinterpretation, I'd certainly like to look at it. The Bill, and the proposed Amendment, states that students, in order to be considered in good standing, must be CLEAR of any current suspension.

The bill allows a 12 month ban...if you get on any sort of probation, you are ineligible for SG for twelve months. I think that seems a reasonable time period...people can change and amend their lives, and when they try to do so it's our obligation as decent people to at least give them the chance.

Things as minor as drinking in your dorm room or having fun on Brent Road can get one on probation. That is because the Office of Student Conduct can get you not only for offenses you do on campus but those that happen off campus. Something that minor should not bar you from serving in SG FOREVER.

Basically, it all boils down to the belief that, as stated in the petition, "The decision as to who will represent us in Student Government is OURS to make." If you don't want a certain person in office because of their past conduct, vote against them. But at least let it be the STUDENTS', the VOTERS' decision.

Quote :
"I don't know about you, but I don't necessarily think Paul Cousins should be the ultimate authority on who is "desirable" to represent me."
That sums it all up right there. The decision as to who will represent you is YOURS, not that of some deputy assistant sub associate vice chancellor.

[Edited on September 22, 2002 at 7:37 PM. Reason : add]

[Edited on September 22, 2002 at 7:39 PM. Reason : add]

9/22/2002 7:36:42 PM

jackleg
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9/22/2002 11:44:21 PM

HaLo
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Wolfpack2k: Thank you for the very insightful response to Aaron's comments (I can't even begin to decipher what jackleg was trying to say). Your description of the problem and the way this solves it was great. I'm all for this amendment now. *tries to find a petition*

9/23/2002 1:24:40 AM

Seth-Setesh
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You're awesome Chuck! BTTT!!

9/23/2002 8:52:58 AM

Wolfpack2K
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Thank you for your thanks! I'm glad I was able to help!

9/23/2002 5:11:48 PM

wolfpack1100
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okay listen up simple but true if you were stupid enough to get caught doing something stupid as a freshman i don't want you to be president. Privacy my foot you are in the"public eye" even if that is only the eye of the students you still represent me. I know lots of people do things and never get caught you can't do anything about that but why bend the rules for someone that was caught doing something wrong?? Think about this really who is this going to help?

9/25/2002 2:35:56 PM

markgoal
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That may be your feeling but that shouldn't circumvent the rest of the voters' right to decide whether it matters or not.

9/25/2002 2:49:45 PM

Wolfpack2K
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Quote :
"if you were stupid enough to get caught doing something stupid as a freshman i don't want you to be president"


That's your right; I wouldn't begrudge you the right to vote against that person. However, it would be only fair to allow others the opportunity to disagree with you, to say that they do want that person to be president and then vote for them. You are only one student; why should you be able to make the choice for all of us? For that matter, why should the Senate be able to make the choice for all of us?

I wouldn't deny you the right to say "I don't want that person to be President"...you shouldn't deny me or any student the right to say "I do want that person to be President" and have that voice count equally to your own. On the ballot.

[Edited on September 25, 2002 at 3:25 PM. Reason : add]

9/25/2002 3:24:39 PM

Wolfpack2K
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Quote :
"Think about this really who is this going to help?"


In my estimation it's going to help the people who made a mistake years ago and have learned from it and want to pick themselves back up and make a contribution to the student body. What's wrong with that?

9/25/2002 4:26:06 PM

Seth-Setesh
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UPDATE!

The GB 16 Town Meeting / Pizza Party is confirmed, booked, and ready to fly:

Location: 201 Witherspoon Student Ctr (Student Senate Chambers)
Time: 5:00 - 7:30
Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2002

The dilly-o: Concerned senators and students alike will meet here and hammer out possible changes to GB 16 before the Student Senate meeting on Wed, Oct 2 in order to work towards a bill we can get passed in the Senate that does open doors for service in SG.

Who will be there? Hopefully as many of your student senators as possible, YOU the concerned student, and the Papa John's Pizza Man who will be bringing pizza.

Since Seth is relatively poor and cannot spring for pizza for all of you, please help me out and bring some cash. If you have any comments, please email me or post here. If you're planning on attending, post a reply or drop me some mail so I can get a halfway decent headcount.

Thanks!
-Seth

9/25/2002 4:28:18 PM

roddy
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Seth, maybe.

[Edited on September 26, 2002 at 10:05 AM. Reason : oh, Seth is not poor ]

[Edited on September 26, 2002 at 10:06 AM. Reason : or relatively poor]

9/26/2002 10:04:34 AM

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