On Tuesday, Nick Terzulli, the president of the Student Confederation, declared a state of emergency for the SC so Kyle Taylor could be appointed vice president. According to the SC Constitution, the VP must be nominated from the General Assembly - a requirement that Taylor is missing. Terzulli asked the GA for the “very strict, very minute” power to appoint Taylor, which was granted on Tuesday night. Later that night, Terzulli appointed Taylor and then the GA sent his nomination to committee.
The reason for this was because at the end of last year, VP Marguerite Meyer resigned, leaving the post vacant and without a successor. Many people and organizations, including The Eagle, endorsed Taylor, who formerly headed Eagle Nights.
Before a week ago, Terzulli did not know that he could declare a state of emergency, which is when “there is a situation that is a threat to the existence of the SC or GA.” By nominating a VP who was not from the GA, the SC entered into a constitutional crisis and a debate about the relevance of the constitution.
The Constitutional and Procedural Review Board, the judicial branch of AU’s student government, ruled the SC’s constitution is no longer applicable to the current government and recommended that it be corrected. The reason for this is that in 2001, the GA voted to form the AU Club Council and delete the SCCC. This is equivalent to the U.S. government hiring a giant security company like IDT to take over border defenses, and then leaving them to their own devices. The government would then no longer “provide for the common defence,” [sic] as is stipulated in the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution.
To The Eagle, this looks like another one of the bizarre, overly complicated and easily avoidable situations that the SC and GA find themselves in on a regular basis. In this case, a piece of legislation was passed three years ago with major implications, yet the SC and GA didn’t address it until the president declared a constitutional crisis. Where was the CPRB three years ago when the Club Council was abolished? More importantly, what have they been doing in the three years since?
The Eagle cannot think of an easier remedy to this situation than requiring GA, SC and CPRB members to read their own constitution. Then, to make sure that they know the basics of their own constitution, give them a test so they’re at least mildly accountable. To put this into perspective, would you elect a congressman who had not read the Bill of Rights?
For better or worse, this incident illustrates the ineptitude of our student government. Too many representatives join these institutions so they can add something to their resumes. Many representatives often do close to nothing for their constituents; they just deliberate. The Eagle believes that if our student government was competent amending the constitution to abolish the Club Council could have easily averted this three-year-old crisis.
In the future, The Eagle recommends that members of the GA and SC go to their constituents, limit GA membership and that candidates are given a greater window to campaign. If all three of these recommendations are satisfied, then AU will have a more accountable and efficient student government.
When the GA, SC and CPRB begin to address their fundamental problems and place responsibility before r?sum?, our whole school will benefit. Terzulli and those in office would do well to remember Terzulli’s election motto from last year: “People, not politics.” We’re all waiting.