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Council Quorum Is Questioned

Chair, Vice Chair Clash on Interpretation

By Jeffrey C. Wu

The leadership of the Undergraduate Council is still in disarray over whether last Sunday's meeting was technically valid, but it appears the body will implement the session's decisions despite lingering constitutional questions.

At issue is whether the malaise-ridden student government achieved a quorum or not at its last meeting of the year on Sunday--the fourth straight session during which it suffered from attendance problems.

Only 41 of the body's 88 members were present at the start of the session. Half of the body's membership is needed to achieve a quorum.

Council Chair Guhan Subramanian '92 said during the meeting that the executive board had expelled enough members to achieve the required attendance level, and he reiterated again yesterday that the necessary quorum was present Sunday.

But Vice Chair Athan G. Tolis '91, who formally oversees council attendance, differed sharply with his superior last night, saying that only two members had been given their walking papers--not enough to make Sunday's meeting binding.

"That's Guhan's interpretation," Tolis said. "Guhan and I decided [not to expel the members], period."

But Subramanian maintained that his view of the events was the correct one.

"He is wrong. The chairperson's word is whatsticks. I think I have the final say. For Athan tosay we didn't expel people goes against what theexecutive board passed."

"If members fulfilled their minimumresponsibilities we wouldn't have this problem inthe first place," Subramanian added.

According to the council's bylaws, theexecutive board has the right to dismiss memberswho miss four council meetings. Before last week'smeeting, the executive board warned 18representatives with poor attendance records thatthey would be expelled if they missed either ofthe last two meetings of the year.

Subramanian said that those members on thatlist of 18 who missed the Sunday meeting wereautomatically expelled at the beginning of thesession.

According to Tolis, who continues to maintainthat the members were never kicked off thecouncil, the representatives under question are:Timothy P. McCarthy '93, Rosemary B. Quigley '92,Jamie Rangel '90, Cathy L. Jamieson '91, KurtStrovink '92, and E. Adam Webb '93.

Tolis confirmed that two members, Sean C.Griffin '90 of Quincy House and Rudy Ruiz '90 ofAdams House, had been expelled at the previousweek's meeting for poor attendance.

Evan B. Rauch '92, the council's secretary,yesterday came down on Tolis's side of theconstitutional debate. He said that the council'sminutes, which he complies, would indicate thatthe truncated council's decisions Sunday were nottechnically binding.

"I think I'm going with there was not aquorum," Rauch said. "Regardless of what theexecutive board decided, you couldn't silentlykick people off. Did he announce it when myattention was distracted? I can't buy the silentexpulsion argument."

Although Rauch said there were constitutionalquestions about Sunday's meeting, he said theywere likely to be forgotten in the crush of examsand the space of the summer.

"Everything kind of flows until the nextmeeting [next fall]," Rauch said."Parliamentarily, this never happened. [But] froma practical point of view more than one half ofthe people who have any real connection to thecouncil were there. The blank check [given to theexecutive board at the meeting to secure a fallconcert] is in the hands of the executive board.That's reality. If anyone wants to sue thecouncil, they can.

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