Student Leaders Agree on Government Plan, Devise New Minority Representation Scheme
The ongoing constitutional convention last night completed a formal proposal for a revamped student government by including a guaranteed minority representation plan in the description of a new Undergraduate Council. The students will present the proposed constitution to a Faculty liason committee today as the first step in gaining Faculty approval for the new government.
Fourteen of the 18 convention representatives endorsed a plan to guarantee each of seven campus minority groups a seat on the 100-member elected body which student leaders hope will replace the old Student Assembly next fall.
The proposal differs somewhat from one originally conceived last fall and rejected by faculty members, but convention members said they are uncertain whether the Faculty will accept any form of guaranteed minority representation in the new government.
A majority of the undergraduate population would have to approve the new constitution before it goes before the Faculty and the corporation for University approval.
The initial minority plan, drafted by a different, smaller committee, proposed that minority groups automatically receive fractional votes on an Undergraduate Council sub-committee responsible for setting the larger body's agenda and directing legislation.
But leaders last night called the first plan "demeaning" and "unworkable." They said the new proposal was the most acceptable way of insuring broad representation in the new government, which was originally slated for implementation last spring.
Minorities need guaranteed representation on the main council "in order to insure a government represented by the widest possible student interest," said Andrew B. Herrmann '82, a convention member.
The old Student Assembly, largely phased-out last semester because members expected a new government to be in place by now, had already tried guaranteed seating for some minority groups but failed to work effectively for other reasons, members said.
They said that the Undergraduate Council's annual budget of $60,000 and more centralized administration would allow student government to work well with special representation.
Student leaders expect a response to their proposal from the Faculty representatives by early next week and said that the haven committee's opinion will indicate whether professors object to guaranteed minority representation in principle or only in the complex way it was originally suggested.
Students who expressed the fact the Faculty would again reject plans for a new government said that the professors "will have to take responsibility" if an improved council does not energe.
But convention chairman council T. Menderca '83 told the convention to expect to completely finish its week by next week and then to begin tallying campus wide support in ropes of a student reference.