ISS updates delinquency record

By Julian Scharman

As a part of the Illinois Student Senate’s weekly regiment, a list of new and continually delinquent senators is updated. Sixteen student senators are currently on the list.

An Illinois Student Senator is listed as delinquent when he or she misses the mandatory, weekly senate meeting and fails to hold two, one-hour office sessions in the course of a week.

The purpose of the delinquency list, which can be found on the Illinois Student Senate’s Web site, is to inform active senators of the delinquent individuals and to inform the students whom the delinquent senators represent have failed to fulfill their duties.

However, the students who make their way onto the list of delinquent senators are always the same individuals, said Ariel Avila, junior in Business, and Illinois Student Senate’s chief of staff, who is in charge of maintaining the list.

“The people on this list, for the most part, have not been doing anything the whole year,” Avila said.

In order to curb student senators from not fulfilling their duties, the student senate is taking additional steps to prevent these types of actions from occurring. A recently ratified student senate constitution amendment states that if a senator has six unexcused absences, they will be ineligible for re-election the following year.

“Now, just like the presidential races, if you’re not happy with the president’s four years in office, then you won’t vote them in again; in student senate, if you don’t like their year of service, we’ve ensured that they can not run again,” said Chime Asonye, sophomore in LAS, student senator of LAS, and co-chair of the Senate Outreach Committee.

Blake Griffin Graves, senior in ALS and a senator on the delinquency list, said that he voluntary discontinued attendance at meetings and office hours out of sheer dissatisfaction with overall ISS organization and specific individuals.

“From the beginning, right after we were sworn into office, Josh Rohrscheib and Ryan Ruzic decided to go and name themselves co-student body presidents, refer to themselves that way, and share the position, and, in my opinion, that was completely out of line and that just left a bad taste in my mouth from the beginning,” Graves said. “This was all done outside of any rules or regulations of the student senate bylaws.”

Several other student senators did not respond to the reporter’s requests for interviews.

Having fewer senators has increased the workload for the remaining senators and executive officers.

“I would say about 30 to 40 percent of people in the student senate do not do as much work as they should, or show up as much as they should,” said James Win, sophomore in LAS and vice-chair of the Student Senate Budget Committee.

The purpose of the Illinois Student Senate is to serve as a representative body of the students, and enhance student quality at the University, and the delinquency of senators amongst the student government actually comes full circle, Asonye said.

“In the end, they’re students too, they’re effected by these policies directly, and they’re given the privileged position to actually make a difference on campus,” Asonye said.

With the ISS elections quickly approaching, support of the student body will ultimately effect who gets into office. However, some students are still unaware of what the ISS really is and what it is they do, said Chris Nilsen, sophomore in LAS.

“I don’t think the student body has any idea of what they (the ISS) are involved in,” Nilsen said. “I mean I’m sure they’re involved, but in terms of what they’re doing, no one has really any idea.”