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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Interesting Times for the USG

    Dear Editor,

    A variety of interesting proposals passed through the Senate during its last meeting, so without further delay I would like to share what went on with the student body.

    First, and perhaps most dramatically, Ralph Thomas, the Vice President for Clubs and Organizations, was impeached by a vote of 19-1-2 of the USG Senate. The previous Statesman quoted me as saying that the ‘Senate did the right thing,’ a sentiment I confirm. When presented with the four articles of impeachment and with Mr. Thomas’ defense, the Senate had no choice, in my mind, but to recommend impeachment and forward the charges to the USG Supreme Court for further adjudication.

    ‘ As to whether or not Mr. Thomas is guilty of the charges brought against him, or whether or not he deserves to be removed from office, I do not know. It will be the solemn duty of the USG Supreme Court to sort the evidence, investigate further, and then agree on a decision. I believe for the time being, however, that all students should consider Ralph Thomas to be innocent until and unless he is proven guilty, and to reserve judgment until all the evidence has been heard.

    In addition, Senator Antonelli presented a lengthy document, the ‘USG SAB By-Laws Act,’ which intends to reform the Student Activities Board, responsible for the bulk of programming and running student events in order to add greater transparency and oversight.

    While the document is quite impressive and represents an incredibly encouraging picture of the organization’s potential, the true test of this legislation will be whether or not the USG SAB brings forth better planned and advertised events, which draw greater student interest and attendance. The prospects look good and we shall see.

    Finally, the Senate continued debate on the highly contentious ‘Clarification in Employment Act,’ which seeks to limit the number of hours that ‘aides’ to Executive Council officers could work. While the President appeared to have convinced more Senators on the need to hire and keep a relatively high number of aides, no clear decision was taken and the meeting adjourned with the Senate still fragmented over where to go ahead.

    My prediction is that unless the authors of the bill urgently meet with their fellow Senators and with the USG President to craft a compromise, the likely fate of the bill will be either a narrow defeat on the Senate floor or a narrow victory that’ will be’ quickly vetoed and give the same result.

    The next few weeks will be very interesting for the’ USG. The Senate should be finishing up the remaining ‘housekeeping’ issues on its plate, and then hopefully turn its attention to providing new programs and services’ for the student body, as well as beginning the arduous but all important budget deliberation process.

    The USG Supreme Court will be busy with impeachment proceedings and its work will be closely watched because of the unprecedented nature of its work. Its work in the next few weeks has the potential to create long-lasting precedents and will give the court an opportunity to exert its influence as a co-equal branch of government. Stay tuned!

    Respectfully Yours,

    ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ Esam Al-Shareffi

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