Explaining the Bill of Rights veto

Editorials featured in the Forum section are solely the opinions of their individual authors.

After sitting through the Senate meeting last week and observing the discussion and the vote about the resolution in support of the Students’ Rights amendment, I immediately began to question whether I should veto this piece of legislation. I knew I had 120 hours to decide what I should do and that the Super Bowl fell within that time period. (That was my obligatory mention of Super Bowl XL.) On Monday, I submitted my veto to the chair of the Undergraduate Student Senate. This was the first veto in three years; Brian Namey used the last one to veto the Freedom of Information Act. But I will forgo the typical article and attempt to explain to you the reasoning behind the veto.

I had a few concerns with the passing of the resolution at the Undergraduate Student Senate meeting on February 2. I voiced my opinion about the need for Senators to elicit information and opinions from their constituents and fellow students in the weeks leading up to the resolution. However, only a few Senators were actually able to say they had talked about it with friends or constituents. This is a problem, because the Student Senate is to be representative of all undergraduate students — a statement that was reinforced within the body of the resolution — and in order to do this properly it must determine what the students want.

The lack of input that Senators gathered from their constituents caused several Senators to abstain or vote “no” on this resolution. With a final vote of 9–7–8, only 37.5 percent of Senators present actually voted in favor of the resolution. The 15 votes not in favor failed to provide enough support for a piece of legislation like this. I believe Senate needs to be held accountable for inaccurately representing students. I believe this is a major problem. Yet I still have other concerns about the Students’ Rights amendment.

By now you have probably heard the name David Horowitz or heard of Students for Academic Freedom, yet these are not my concerns. Rather, I question if the policy is actually necessary, as there have only been three applicable cases in the past five years. Also, there is already a section in The Word which deals with the right to be graded based on the stated course criteria.

I am happy with the work Academic Affairs has done in explaining the policy amendment process, though I do encourage them to start working on endeavors others than the proposed amendment.