Editorial Board

Student Association’s open forum and investigation into assembly members demonstrate forward-looking efforts

Following the conclusion of an investigation into President Eric Evangelista, the Student Association at Syracuse University is making encouraging efforts to repair itself and reach out to the university community.

SA’s Judicial Review Board, which conducted the Evangelista investigation, is now investigating two assembly members for failing to attend mandatory Monday night meetings. SA also announced via Twitter on Sunday night that it is holding an open forum at tomorrow’s assembly meeting “to discuss goals and listen to students’ suggestions.”

The Judicial Review Board should be commended for cracking down on assembly members not attending the mandatory meetings. The assembly members have a responsibility to represent the students they signed up to represent. If they are not at the meetings they are required to attend, they are not only poorly representing their constituents — they are not representing them at all.

It’s embarrassing that SA must work to increase attendance at its required meetings, but it is necessary. If assembly members don’t attend Monday meetings, the assembly cannot meet quorum, which constitutes at least a majority of membership plus one. Quorum is required to vote on bills, and during the current legislative session, the assembly has twice been unable to meet quorum, which can result in the tabling of votes and delays in the confirmations of cabinet positions.

Any assembly member who can attend the meetings but chooses not to should not be a representative of the student body, and Evangelista said the organization is working to increase meeting attendance by following parliamentary and judicial procedures more strictly. SA last missed quorum at its Feb. 13 meeting, which is when it was announced that five assembly members had been referred to the Judicial Review Board for accumulating an excessive number of demerits due to unexcused absences from Monday meetings.

It’s nearly impossible for SA to make strides forward if assembly members don’t care enough to show up to mandatory meetings, but hosting an open forum for students to express their concerns will allow those assembly members who do value the organization to gather input from the people they represent.

Although SA could have given the student body more than a day’s notice on the forum, the event is a welcoming move for an organization that has been riddled with controversy these past few weeks.

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