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Council Coup


Last Monday night the Student Council threw a quick and entirely unheralded blow at the student body by eliminating the referendum provision from the new constitution it is framing for itself.

This provision allowed students to initiate by petition a vote on crucial issues. With two hundred signers, a three-quarter vote then bound the Council to act in accordance with the student opinion. Dropping the provision will enable the Council to act more efficiently, its leaders tell us. No longer will it be bothered by the "joker element" of students that introduces crackpot referenda.

The Council obviously has acted on the strength of its experience with the semi-serious abolitionist movement of last spring, the only "joker" referendum that has shown up in recent years. But one disagreeable occurrence is not enough to warrant revision of the constitution, which is designed to provide general control of the Council's activity. Some students may abuse their right to control the Council, but this is no excuse for eliminating the right entirely.

On some advisory decisions that may unalterably commit the student body to be a certain course of action, the Council may not see fit to conduct an opinion poll. In such cases the students must have direct control over their representatives. The referendum provision should be reinstituted.

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