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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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    Update on Failed USG Proposal

    Earlier this week, Executive Vice President of the Undergraduate Student Government Nathan Shapiro, announced that the proposed USG Constitution had failed at the polls. The proposal was defeated by a 749-236 vote opposing, and as a result, was rejected.

    Jonathan Hirst, Vice President of Student Life, Programming and Activities, said he felt ‘disappointed’ that the proposal had failed. However, Robert Romano, former USG Senator, said he was ‘satisfied’ with the result. While the reason for voters’ decisions was unclear, Hirst said that he believed misinformation was what ‘prompted [students] to vote no.’

    Elana Lancaster, Co-President of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance (LGBTA), disagreed. She said that the concerns pointed out on the ‘Vote No’ flyers that she helped to draft, print and distribute were things that mattered to the student body. She also said that her opposition was based firmly on careful reading.

    Although the number of different versions of ‘Vote No’ flyers that were posted is indeterminate, the version Lancaster assisted with said, ‘The new Constitution takes away our power to vote for USG officials, removes clubs’ ability to appeal budget decisions, and eliminates clubs’ right[s] to equal treatment regardless of ideology.’ Lancaster denied being involved with any other versions of the posters.

    In addition to posting flyers, students actively advocated their positions on the social networking site, Facebook. Students created and joined groups such as ‘SAY NO TO USG CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS’ and ‘Reminder: Vote YES on the new USG Constitution Oct 22-26’ to show their support. Nevertheless, some felt that the USG failed to sufficiently publicize the proposed Constitution.

    Ryan James, a member of SBU-TV, was not even aware that voting for the proposal was taking place. In spite of that, he said he cared very much about a proposal that could affect his own rights as well as his club’s rights.

    Hirst admitted that he thought the USG did a poor job advertising the proposed Constitution, and Lancaster had the same opinion. She said, ‘[the flyers] informed many people who otherwise might not have even known voting was happening.’

    Despite the different factors that affected the proposal’s outcome, the USG still has to figure out where to go from here. Matthew Anderson, a recently appointed USG Senator, said, in a note on Facebook, that the proposal’s failure is ‘behind us.’ He outlined that he believed the USG should now move forward and review the proposal.

    Hirst said that the USG plans to speak with students and clubs to get their input. From there, the USG would see where to go with the proposed Constitution. Others, such as former Senator Romano and current Senator Anderson, said that they would play their part as well.

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