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SGA Judicial Council votes Constitutional Amendment 43-04 unconstitutional

Council recommends removal of amendment from constitution, statutes


Published: Thursday, March 29, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, April 3, 2012 12:04

In a majority vote, the Student Government Association’s Judicial Council voted last week that the current enactment of Constitutional Amendment 43-04 is unconstitutional and should be removed from the Constitution of the Student Body of the University of Central Florida and UCF’s System of Statutes.

The inquiry the council had to review: Does future implementation Constitutional Amendment 43-04 (The Graduate Student Assembly) constitute as a violation of the Constitution of the University of Central Florida?

The council also had the question proposed to the student body during last year’s election to take into consideration: Do you support or not support creating a Graduate Student Assembly that could request funds from Activity and Service Fees, establish rules for its expenditure, and represent graduate, master, specialist, and post-baccalaureate students?

The council determined there was a discrepancy in regard to the language of 43-04 and the language of the question placed on the ballot during last year’s election to ratify the amendment.

CA 43-04 stated “Graduate Students shall receive funds from Activity and Service Fees” while the question posted on the ballot stated “Graduate Student Assembly that could request funds from Activity and Service Fees.”

During last week’s meeting, Chief Justice Jordan Shapiro asked the council to first consider the proposed discrepancy between the ballot question and its wording.

Justices Garrett Sawyer and Trevor Barton both acknowledged they saw a discrepancy.

“I see a discrepancy; the ballot says grad students could receive funds from ASF. The amendment says grad students shall receive funds from ASF,” Barton said, according to the meeting minutes.

“Shall means duty and will, which is not the same as could … Could means a possibility,” Sawyer said.

Shapiro then asked the council if they thought the question is misleading.

Justice Ryan Kelly questioned the question’s misleading nature, but Sawyer said average students looking at the wording have not done as much research as the justices have, according to the minutes.

After a majority vote determining the question misleading, Shapiro asked the council to consider if the student body’s vote should be considered valid or invalid.

The language of CA 43-04 and the language of the ballot question were again brought up.

“I think we’re over thinking this; average students don’t think the same we do … Shall makes students think it’s going to happen, could makes students think it might happen,” Sawyer said, according to the minutes.

After another majority vote, the council determined CA 43-04 should be removed from the constitution and statutes.

The council also reviewed and voted on the Notification of Non-Compliance against SGA President Matthew McCann that Senate voted to issue during the March 15 meeting.

Justice Leah Fowlkes said in reviewing the minutes from senate meetings in February and March, she observed that McCann had made appointments and did not see the non-compliance as valid.

Barton said that it’s McCann’s ability to determine if students are qualified or not and agreed that the non-compliance was invalid.

Council voted that the notification was invalid.

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