Petition's Five Questions To Appear on Referendum

Davis' New Signatures Change Council's Mind

After a month of delays and much wrangling, the Undergraduate Council executive board decided last night to hold a referendum on all five issues identified on a student petition.

The latest petition, presented to the board last night by former member Anjalee C. Davis '96, alleviates the technical objections which caused the council to invalidate the original one, said President Carey W. Gabay '94.

The executive board's decision can be overruled by a majority vote of the council this Sunday.

"As of now, it seems like [the referendum] will be all five questions," Gabay said last night.

Davis, who had been pushing for a referendum on all five questions, said she was surprised by the board's decision.

"It's unbelievable," Davis said. "I'm completely shocked, but it's great."

The council had decided two weeks ago to commit two of the original five questions to referendum. These two issues, which will still go to student vote next week, are:

. The recent council decision to raise the student term bill fee from $20 to $30,

. Last year's move to eliminate the option students have to check a box on term bills to waive the council fee.

If ratified by the council, the May 7-9 referendum will include additional questions on:

. College-wide election of the council president, vice president, secretary and treasurer,

. Semi-annual general election of council delegates,

. The distribution of unspent council funds, or roll-over, to the house committees, rather than to the council itself.

The latest petition drive allowed students to sign separately for each of the questions, and all five were signed by more than 650 students, Davis said.

"I've checked over the petitions," said Council Parliamentarian David A. Smith '94, "and they're air-tight."

The council constitution says that "any issue may be committed to a referendum... by a petition signed by one-tenth of the undergraduates."

Davis' original petition asked for only one signature to submit all five of the questions to a student vote.

The executive board invalidated Davis' original five-question petition on the grounds that it was, in Gabay's words, "packed."

Gabay said last night that all five questions appearing on next week's referendum will only be binding on the council if half the student body votes.

Gabay said semi-annual general elections and popular election of the council executives might take some time to be implemented if approved by students.

He said that those changes, which call for significant restructuring of the council constitution, have to be approved by the Faculty Council.

Those changes "will have a rougher time" getting through the Faculty Council, Gabay said. The Faculty Council created the current structure of the Undergraduate Council.

At best, Gabay said, the changes would be implemented for the 1995-96 school year, since business submitted now will not be considered by the Faculty Council until next year.

Gabay said the Undergraduate Council will not campaign for either side of the two election questions, as it has for the fee hike.

"We've never voted on any of the other things, so I don't see us taking a side," Gabay said.

"There's a chance" the council will campaign to keep unspent funds, Gabay said.

Any binding referendum can be overturned by a three-fourths vote of the council, according to the councilconstitution.

The council did choose to respond to Davis'original petition, which garnered 1,683signatures, by submitting the fee hike to studentreferendum.

This referendum, which was held April 20-22,was invalidated by the council because of numerousimproprieties, including illegal tabling bydelegates in their own houses and the possibilityof multiple voting.

The invalidation had prompted the council toschedule for a two-issue referendum this week