The Constitution Review Committee

The Constitution Review Committee is tasked to carry out the sunset period* mandated by the Constitution. This involves revising and re-ratifying the whole Constitution. To ensure the process is representative, the Government has set up a select committee made of 15 members.

12 were picked randomly from a pool of volunteers (adjusted for demographic representation) with public, non-government witnesses (Regina Ng ’18, Liam Rahman ’17, Victoria Kalinina ’17). 3 are current government members which serve as convener, devil’s advocate and secretary.  These are:

Public Representatives. Adila Sayyed ‘19, Anandita Sabherwal ’19, Avery Simmons ‘19, Isabel Perucho ‘18, Matthew Ware ‘18, Ng Qi Siang ‘19, Sara Rotenberg ’19, Subhas Nair ‘17, Swarnima Sircar ‘19, Tamara Burgos ’18

Government Representatives. Tee Zhuo (Convener), Dave Chappell (Secretary) Jay Lusk (Devil’s Advocate)

ROLES

  1. Convener. Organises and facilitates committee meetings. The Convener will have the same rights as any other member of the committee to vote and debate, but will maintain impartiality in application of rules of the convention. The Convener can relinquish his position to another member of the Convention for any period of time given a ⅔ majority vote approving such action in the Convention.
  2. Secretary. Takes careful meeting minutes and publishes said minutes as soon as possible after each meeting. The Secretary will have the same rights as any other member of the committee to vote and debate, but shall prioritise careful record keeping over debate within the committee. The Secretary may be assisted by any member of the committee or of the public given a ⅔ majority vote approving such action in the Convention.
  3. Devil’s Advocate. Ensures the Convention upholds high standards of revision throughout the process. The Devil’s Advocate will provide logical objections to each proposed action without prejudice. The Devil’s Advocate will only vote in the case of an exact tie between all other members of the Convention.

DUTIES

  1. Produce a new constitution by November 6th (Friday) 2015 23:59.
  2. Open a Public Comment period between November 6 (Friday) and November 20th (Friday) 23:59, where students can submit amendments to the constitution on an online platform. The convention will, with the help of the student government, plan numerous public comment sessions between these two dates.
  3. Maintain open and well-minuted meeting minutes for all official meetings of the convention.
  4. Meet no less than once per week except for week 7 and recess week between the date of its appointment and November 6th.
  5. Involve the public in the process starting from its appointment to ratification.
  6. Submit a final version of the constitution, after voting on every public amendment, by November 23, Monday 23:59.
  7. Work with the Student Government to conduct a ratification vote from 25th November to 26th November. 24th November is reserved for public debate over ratification.
  8. Disband 26th November 2015 at 23:59, unless extenuating circumstances allow for the Student Government to extend the convention’s duration.

OTHER DETAILS

  1. With the exception of the Devil’s Advocate, all members of the committee must commit to not running/standing at the next election.
  2. The Devil’s Advocate is exempt from (1) given that they only vote to break a tie. They have no personal views, and are supposed to question all suggestions and thus on principle opposed to every position.
  3. School administration and members of faculty to be barred from meetings and not allowed to vote or influence the convention in any way, unless invited by the committee (decision to be passed by ⅔ majority vote).
  4. Open-viewing and participation for any student for any meeting.
  5. A process will be created for submission and consideration of every idea/suggestion with regard to the constitution.
  6. Other members of the incumbent Government, and the dissolved ESC will be consulted where needed.

FIRST MEETING

  1. Our first meeting will be tomorrow, Thursday, from 1200-1300 hrs, at Saga Dining Hall. All meetings are public and open to student participation. This is the agenda for tomorrow’s meeting:
  2. Settle administrative details including regular meeting times, venue etc.
  3. Clarifications on roles, structure of the committee, duties, rules.
  4. Establish principles of review process, and set up said process, including public feedback mechanism
  5. Create timeline, set targets.

*Article VI, Section Two – “Sunset Clause Amendment”: At the end of every electoral term, students may call, via petition signed by 10% of the student body, for a ‘Sunset Period’ organised by the standing Government. During this period students shall review the Constitution as a whole and re-ratify each article. Any article which is not re-ratified must be revised and ratified, or removed.

Appendix I: Bylaws Set by the Elected Student Committee, 7: There must be a sunset period at the end of the two-semester term, which will be during the first two weeks of November in Semester One of the AY 2015/2016.

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