Student Senate drafts new constitution

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Student Senate drafts new constitution

Ron Lewis addresses Illinois Student Senate Meeting on Wednesday night at the Union.

Ron Lewis addresses Illinois Student Senate Meeting on Wednesday night at the Union.

Brian Bauer

Ron Lewis addresses Illinois Student Senate Meeting on Wednesday night at the Union.

Brian Bauer

Brian Bauer

Ron Lewis addresses Illinois Student Senate Meeting on Wednesday night at the Union.

By Gillian Dunlop, Staff Writer

As a way to bring more democratic procedures to the Illinois Student Senate, a new constitution has been drafted for the first time since 2011.

“Basically, we felt that we could be a lot more efficient in the way that we’re set up,” said Spencer Haydary, vice president internal of ISS and senior in LAS. “The new constitution would allow for the (student) president and vice president to be popularly elected and it also establishes a permanent judiciary.”

In addition to allowing the student population to directly vote for the president and vice president, the revised constitution also focuses on the separation of powers.

“We’re focusing more on dividing the responsibilities of drafting legislation within the senate itself, because right now the executive does that (alone),” Haydary said. “It’s going to streamline a lot of things and make everything more efficient.”

For the new constitution to appear on the fall referendum, however, the student senate must collect about 2200 student signatures.

The senate is not allowed to collect written signatures due to fear of voter fraud, so students will have to log on to the student senate website and vote through the portal.

As of now, the senate has 200 signatures from students, but they will continue campaigning to collect the other 2000.

“There’s going to be a lot of grassroots campaigning,” Haydary said. “I am doing everything in my personal power to try to mobilize all of my friends to get all of the signatures possible.”

The new constitution has been in the works for over a year.

“We sought to get as much feedback back as possible from various stakeholders,” Haydary said. “We did as much as we could to involve the public and we even held an entire committee of discussion.”

Haydary is confident the constitution will be on the fall referendum despite not having all of the signatures yet.

“I would love for it to pass, a lot of people have put work into it and have just tried to tackle every single issue people have brought up to us,” he said.  “It’s going to be the most comprehensive document we could have wished for, so I really hope it passes because it’s going to streamline a lot of what ISS does and it’s going to be more democratic.”

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