Error may jeopardize treasurer election

At Senate this week, senior Jake Caouette, ASSP executive vice president, began a discussion about the treasurer position, which last year both Senate and the student body approved to be an elected position.

Under the accepted change, the elected treasurer would serve for a year and then become vice president of finance. Caouette explained that the current ASSP Constitution ratified at the end of last year did not specify the treasurer as an elected position, and therefore did not reflect the approved changes.

“Where we’re at right now, the ratified constitution would mean that things just stay the same. So as of right now, going into next year, the operating structure is maintained,” Caouette said. “The [vice president of finance] position will remain an elected position, and the treasurer will remain a hired position.”

Caouette said changing the constitution to allow for an elected treasurer would be a two-year process. The first year, the constitution would be ratified to allow both the treasurer and vice president of finance to be elected positions. This is the step that was approved last year but was not reflected in the constitution.

The second year, Senate and the student body would vote to change the constitution again, making the vice president of finance position no longer an elected position, and making the treasurer a two year position that continues directly into the vice president of finance position.

This process started last year, but was interrupted because of the incorrect wording in the ratified constitution.

During the tense discussion, senators questioned why the necessary language had been left out, voiced frustration about having to restart the process started last year, and asked about other options to speed the corrective process and avoid restarting the two-year implementation process.

Senior Ellerie Chen asked if the constitution could be fixed with a referendum or a friendly amendment, since the omission was a mistake, and senior Everan Chaffee asked Reed Hawkins, Constitutional Advisory Board chief justice, if there were any possibilities to make changes within the current structure.

Hawkins said Senate was bound by what was passed, and that any ways to try get around the process outlined by Caouette would take some serious interpretation. He said he would meet with the Constitutional Advisory Board for more discussion.

Jacob Redding, SPU alumnus and last year’s vice president of finance, attended the meeting. He spoke about Senate’s plan last year for the treasurer change.

Redding said the first step of the two-year process had successfully taken place, and this year’s Senate needed to approve the next step in the process. Redding said last year’s Senate actually ratified the treasurer change and included it as an amendment for this year’s senate to approve.

“It’s an amendment that is taking place to your constitution this year that was passed previously by this last Senate,” Redding said. “It’s an adoption to the constitution. You are adopting the new document that was voted on and already passed.”

Caouette said the second step could not take place because the wording of the current constitution did not allow a transition to the next step. “I don’t know where this broke down,” Caouette said. “This is where we’re at now, though. We’re moving forward.”

The discussion ended to allow senators to take a week to review documents from last year and consider the discussion.

Senate also unanimously approved $3,663 for Relinquish’s winter Vigil, a 24-hour prayer and worship event focused on Seattle. Junior Katheryn Woo, Relinquish coordinator, said Urban Involvement and Latreia would be involved, as well as Set Free, to raise awareness of sex-trafficking in Seattle.

Junior Connor King, ASSP media equipment coordinator, presented a proposal for additions to ASSP’s sound equipment inventory. “Our sound and lighting equipment for ASSP is pretty minimal, pretty below average,” King said.

He said that the additions would allow ASSP to have a respectable amount of inventory, and said that most of the purchases were necessary fixes for broken-down equipment, in addition to upgrades.

The proposal, which included both light and sound equipment, totaled $7,040 after amendments changed a handful of items on the list. King said that the money would come from the ASSP Rollover Contingency Fund, which is used to fund long-term investments. The proposal passed.

This article was posted in the section News.
Kara Spoelstra

Assistant News Editor Kara Spoelstra is a senior ecology major.