The Associated Students of Portland State University seeks to institute substantive changes to the student government constitution. Alterations to the constitution will be put to vote by the student body. No other measures will be on the ballot this election.
The proposed changes are as follows:
Preamble: “Board of Trustees” has been added in the relevant paragraphs to reflect changes in university governance made by the Oregon Legislature.
Article I: Terms and Definitions
1. Terms are tracked in relevant bylaws, so the list of definitions has been reduced.
2. An Academic Quarter as defined in the ASPSU Constitution has been clarified. Each academic quarter is defined as including breaks between when class is in session.
Article III: Participation
1. Clarifies that Academic Standards apply for all elected, appointed, and mid-term appointed individuals in ASPSU.
2. Pass/No pass grades now count for calculating credit hours, except for ASPSU classes. This change has been made so that persons taking Pass/No Pass classes for their degree are not
Article IV: Governance
1. Clarifies the process and timeline for making amendments to bylaws and guidelines for ASPSU governing bodies.
2. Streamlines language that mandates compliance with Oregon Public Meeting Law.
Article V: President and Vice-President
1. Separates this section from Executive Committee in order to clarify the roles and responsibilities of the President and Vice-President.
2. Removes section about executive staff position creation as this process is already outlined explicitly in SFC guidelines.
3. Directly states that it is the President’s responsibility to fill all ASPSU mid-term vacancies.
Article VI: Executive Committee
1. Designates the ASPSU President as the chair of the executive committee. Removes language about delegation of the chair as Robert’s Rules of Order already allows this function.
Article VII: The Senate
1. The Student Position on the Board of Trustees has been added in the relevant paragraphs.
2. Membership and Voting Rights in the Senate have been clarified with regard to which ASPSU officials vote in the Senate and which do not. There have been no changes as to which offices confer voting duties.
3. Deletes language about the 8th SFC seat that has been removed as per Article VIII.
4. Clarifies the senate’s role in referrals and referenda. The process has not changed.
5. Clarifies the roles, responsibilities and election of the Senate Chair.
Article VIII: The Student Fee Committee
1. Removes the 8th SFC seat, which is filled by senate appointment, as the 2015–2016 budget only funds 7 SFC seats. Retains all elected SFC seats.
2. Removes language about guidelines for revision timelines.
3. Removes section describing SFC process investigation. This process still exists but is clarified in SFC guidelines.
Article IX: The Judicial Review Board
1. Removes the Senate Liaison role, as the position has historically had poorly-defined duties and many discrepancies regarding its role.
2. Removes language regarding the Judicial board’s job of reviewing policies, procedures, and rules because they fall under “By-laws and Guidelines” which the Judicial Board already reviews.
3. Changes the definition of who may file attention requests to allow only Incidental Fee funded departments or PSU students. Previous language stated that any person may file attention requests.
4. Introduces time limits to the Senate’s power to overturn Judicial Board decisions.
Article X: Elections
1. Clarifies what roles are elected by the Student Body and methods by which they are elected.
2. Adds language clarifying that the Judicial Review Board is in charge of changes to the Elections Committee by-laws and Elections manual.
3. Removes sections about Senators and SFC members being elected by Instant run-off.
4. Removes election timeline language. This language is available in the Elections Manual and the dates will change each year.
5. Removes language discussing Executive Committee role in elections.
Article XI: Replacement, Recall, and Impeachment
1. Removes language about the 8th SFC seat.
2. Removes language about filling SFC Chair vacancy because the process is described in the SFC guidelines.
3. Adds a line describing how to fill vice-presidential seat vacancy. No language on this existed before.
4. Clarifies language regarding impeachment; removes language regarding processes enumerated in Judicial Board Bylaws.
5. Removes “Open and Fair” language in line 11.7, as Oregon Public Meeting Law already requires this.
Article XII: Initiative & Referendum
1. Initiative petitions must now have signatures of 3% of the student body, as tabulated in the most recent Fall Quarter FTE Report of the Office of Institutional Research and Planning, instead of the 1% required before. The number of required signatures was increased to better ensure that initiatives reflect the will of the student body.
Article XIII: Amendments
1. Requires that for Senate-referred amendments to the Constitution, at least 3% of the total student body must have voted in the election for the amendments to be ratified.
Information on the constitutional changes courtesy of ASPSU. For more information, visit aspsu.pdx.edu.