The Student Union Approves Planned Changes to Constitution

A revised Student Union constitution will result in a redistribution of votes between elected and appointed officials and remove ARISTA’s vote.

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The Student Union (SU) held a cabinet meeting on October 3 and passed an amendment to the SU Constitution. This amendment redistributes the votes between elected and appointed officials and addresses the criteria for external organizations to vote. Should the revised constitution pass, a cabinet decision can be overturned if five out of the nine voting elected officials agree, giving the caucuses more power.

The external organizations—Big Sibs, ARISTA, and The Spectator—will maintain their vote on the cabinet provided that they are registered on StuyActivities, though The Spectator historically abstains from casting any votes. ARISTA, which does not have a charter on the website, will lose its vote once the revised constitution is implemented.

Leaders of ARISTA chose not to register a charter on StuyActivities because they believe that maintaining the organization’s independence from the SU is necessary in order for ARISTA to fulfill its purpose. However, SU and ARISTA often work together to better the student body, and senior and ARISTA President Julia Arancio knows that the relationship between the two will become stronger. “From an ARISTA perspective, and I hope it’s the same from an SU perspective, we have a newfound respect for each other as separate entities, and we really do value our relationship and our ability to work together,” Arancio said. “Our existence as our own independent organizations will allow us to function better in the future.”

Voting participants, including ARISTA, unanimously decided to vote for the revision to the constitution. “We were considering forfeiting our voting power to begin with,” Arancio said. “SU and ARISTA are in agreement that we really don’t have a place in these meetings or have voting power.”

Overall, all parties are content with the new balance of powers that this amendment addresses. Cabinet members are looking forward to the changes that will be implemented when the revised SU Constitution passes.