ASUWT update: It’s all about the process
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 16:04
The ASUWT Senate held a meeting on April 13 in the ASUWT office (MAT 107) to vote on Bill #040-SP12 Proposed Constitutional Amendments and Bill #041-SP12 ASUWT Vice President Appointment. While the proposed Constitutional Amendments made it onto the ballot for the current ASUWT election, the Vice President Appointment Bill was rejected by the Senate. The bill, that was rejected would have appointed ASUWT Finance Chair Morgan Favors to the vice presidency.
Tim Hyatt, the ASUWT Senator on the hiring committee for the vice president, voted unanimously with the committee to select Favors as the candidate to be put up for confirmation by the senate, but during the Senate meeting Hyatt was the first to descent on the bill. Hyatt’s main reasoning for descent on the bill was the process. His criticisms are focused on the fact that there was such a process in place. This begs the question of whether the open selection process outlined in the Constitution and By-Laws is really a one-size fits all solution to vacancies.
Hyatt is interested in seeing the open selection process for the vice president seat stricken from the By-Laws, so it’s a smoother transition for the chair pro-tem to step into the position as the vice presidency becomes vacant. There’s no such process for the transition of the vice president to a vacant president position, it’s automatic. Hyatt said that having the chair pro-tem go back into an interview process after they’ve already been approved by the Senate to serve as chair pro-tem (a job that acts as chair of the Senate in the absence of the vice president) is the equivalent of “double jeopardy,” because the Senate has already approved the chair pro-tem to serve in a similar capacity.
Article IV.8 of the Constitution reads, “a. Should the office of President become vacant, the Vice President shall become President. Should the office of Vice President or other cabinet member become vacant, the President shall appoint, from an open selection process within fifteen (15) school days of the occurrence of the vacancy, a nomination for the vacancy. At the next scheduled Senate meeting, the Senate by a vote of seated membership may approve the nominee to fill the vacancy.”
So according to the constitution, the vice president to president transition is automatic, but the chair pro-tempore to vice president transition is more of a process. In the By-Laws 200.01 c. it states, “In the case which the Vice President’s seat is vacant, [the Chair Pro-Tempore is to] act as interim Vice President until a Vice President is appointed. a. Upon a two-thirds affirmative vote by the Senate Chair Pro-Tem shall become Vice President until commencement. b. If the Chair Pro-Tem is not confirmed by the Senate or they are unwilling to become Vice President a Vice President shall be selected through an open selection process…”
Interim Vice President Toyoda wanted the position, because she would not have applied for it through the open selection process if she didn’t wish to be Vice President. The fact that this By-Law is written and yet the constitution Article IV.8 supersedes it draws into question why such a By-Law even exists. Hyatt said that he didn’t feel this process was based off of any logical reasoning. Toyoda said, “the constitution has never been looked over” and “we’re looking into the documents and looking at them.” During that same meeting, several Constitutional Amendments were voted on to add to the ballot for the current election.
Another point that Toyoda addressed was that the open selection for the vice president vacancy was not a process specific to hiring the vice president.
The section of By-Laws that becomes even more perplexing is section 302.01.d. where it states, “d. Each applicant interviewed will interview with a panel of at least three (3) as follows unless otherwise stated in the By-Laws or if extenuating circumstances occur, in which a substitution can be made. 1. ASUWT President 2. ASUWT Vice President 3. One other ASUWT Official or student at large.”