Con Court strikes down proposed ballot measure for spring elections

The ASUO Constitution Court found a ballot proposed by Lamar Wise to increase graduate student representation on the ASUO senate in violation of the ASUO Constitution on Feb. 27.

Specifically, Con Court took issue with the wording of the ballot measure as well as its potential violation of the ASUO constitution.

The proposed measure would “allow there to be four unique graduate seats on the senate, to be reapportioned by the ASUO constitutional court based upon the number of graduate students and their respective majors.” Two years ago there were graduate student seats that have since been removed due to reapportionment.

According to Con Court’s Feb. 27 decision the proposed ballot measure violated the current rules regarding apportionment. Article sixteen of the ASUO Constitution Court Rules and Procedures, and Article 13 § 10 of the ASUO Constitution, state that the court is required to reapportion senate seats once every two years. In addition, members of the ASUO are allowed to petition the court to reapportion the senate at any time.

“Ballot measures that attempt to directly over-rule the ASUO Constitution without amending the ASUO Constitution violate Article 15 § 5.5 of the ASUO Constitution, which requires that ballot measures must be ‘consistent with the ASUO Constitution,'” Con Court said in its review of the proposed ballot measure.

The language of the ballot measure was the main source of issue. The proposed ballot measure would “allow there to be four unique graduate seats on the senate” which the court already has the power to do, making the language redundant.

Con Court’s ruling may have rejected Wise’s proposed ballot measure for language, but the issue is far from dead.

At last week’s senate meeting senator Amy Jones proposed a similar ballot measure that was passed by the senate.

“It will get to the same intent,” Wise said. “In my conversations with graduate students they felt underrepresented. That’s what this is addressing.”

To read the full Con Court decision: 7 C.C. (1)

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Alexandra Wallachy

Alexandra Wallachy

Alex is a head correspondent at the Emerald focusing on higher education and student government. She is also a producer for the Emerald Podcast Network and a huge fan of the Daily Show.