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UGBC Senate Makes Moves Toward Transparency, Reorganization

Members Vote To Dissolve Judiciary And Clarify Purpose Of UGBC Positions

For The Heights

Published: Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01


The UGBC Senate recently made two major changes to its constitution by voting to dissolve the Judicial Branch and make changes to Article IV, in an effort to "re-brand the organization to accurately depict its structure" and create a more transparent relationship with Boston College students.

Article IV of the UGBC Constitution defined the duties of the Executive Branch, which will now be known as the Cabinet. According to Vanessa Gomez, vice president of the Senate and A&S '13, the amendments to Article IV passed unanimously, and the amendments regarding the dissolution of the Judicial Branch saw 11 votes in favor and one abstaining.

According to the proposal sponsored by Katie Moore, A&S '13 and Gomez, and co-sponsored by Molly McCarthy, A&S '13, the wording of Article IV did not accurately reflect the current structure of the UGBC. To this end, the amendment made a multitude of changes to the constitution.

The new amendment includes a clause stating that the UGBC president and vice president will be known as the President and Vice President and clarifies that the Vice President is just as responsible for upholding the "principles and guidelines of this constitution" as the President. This change is designed to help the UGBC "be a strong, active, and united student representative organization," as Article II of their Constitution states.  

It also explains the application and selection process for the Executive Manager and Executive Director positions in the Cabinet, stating that the President and Vice President must interview and approve all applicants and appointments within the Cabinet.

In a major move toward transparency, the UGBC will now be required to hold at least two "state-of-the-university" addresses per semester, up from the previously required one per year.

The amendment also mandates that because "all appointed members of the Cabinet are the designated spokespersons for the student body for the issues they have been appointed to represent," they must meet with their assigned BC administrator a minimum of two times per semester.

The remainder of the amendment goes on to more fully explain the mechanics of UGBC, including its purpose and the ways in which members of the Cabinet will be elected and appointed.

As part of its rebranding campaign, the UGBC voted to dissolve the Judicial Branch. The Judicial Branch's primary duties were to maintain the constitutionality of proposed by-laws, resolutions, and amendments while dealing with disciplinary matters pertaining to UGBC.

The amendment, sponsored by Gomez and co-sponsored by Moore, Helen Yu, CSOM '15, and Nick Domino, A&S '12, stated that "the Duties and Powers of the Judicial Branch will be better served if reallocated to other members of the organization."

The UGBC formerly operated on a three-branch system of checks and balances, similar to the United States governmental structure.

Now that the Judicial Branch has been eliminated, the UGBC will consist of the Cabinet and the Senate alone. The responsibility of making sure that all by-laws, resolutions, and amendments are constitutional will fall solely to the President and Vice President.

Senators in the UGBC must complete their full term of one year, and the Judiciary Branch was responsible for dealing with complaints about those Senators who do not report conflicts that would prevent them from doing so. The President and Vice President will now deal with such complaints.

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