By Mark Iozzi
This was a big week for the AS Board of Directors. Our agenda included two major issues and a number of smaller ones.
Approving the AS Election Code was the biggest task of the evening. The Election Code lays out rules and procedures for AS elections. It establishes everything from dates and deadlines to policies governing grievances and penalties.
The board spent all week debating changes that were proposed at our last meeting. We had gotten to the bottom of almost everything, but were still hung up on a few key points. After a lengthy discussion, it was proposed that we table approval for one week and use that time to iron out the remaining issues.
We have currently agreed on measures to improve free speech and enhance the ability of candidates to get their messages out. We’ve also settled on a new election board model that hopes to remove bias from the grievance process.
The election board is a panel of students that hears grievances and assigns penalties to Candidates that violate the code. The board is currently comprised of six students, who hear all grievances. Under the new model, twelve students would be appointed to the board. Candidates involved in a grievance would then be able to remove two board members each. Finally, a panel of six students would be selected at random from the remaining members. By whittling a twelve member board down to six for each grievance, we hope to remove everyone that might have a bias against any of the candidates.
Areas we are still considering include standards for disqualifying candidates and for issuing other penalties. The Board of Directors will work out these remaining problems before our next meeting.
The other big item on our plates was a proposed transportation initiative that would give the student body a chance to vote on having a universal bus pass. The universal pass would cost $20 per quarter and generate enough revenue to provide vastly improved service, tailored to the needs of Western students. Coverage would include buses running every fifteen minutes until 2:30am and Western students wouldn’t be charged for riding.
Members of the AS Transportation Advisory Committee gave the Board of Directors a detailed presentation about the plan. In the coming weeks we will present WTA with several transportation models and hammer out a deal for an exact amount of service. In the mean time, the board will be considering the issue and voting on weather or not we should put the imitative on the ballot this spring.
Other business included approval of hiring committees that will be responsible for hiring our next generation of AS employees. We are currently accepting applications for next year’s jobs. Anyone interested in getting paid to build a great resume should stop by the personnel office, on the fifth floor of the VU, to pick up an application.