March 31, 2011

Students Petitioning For VSA Referendum

Last week, students joined in opposition to the proposed VSA changes, which the VSA Council ultimately voted down. Now, however, students calling themselves Students for a VSA That Matters will be tabling today and tomorrow in the College Center, asking students to sign a petition in order to get a student referendum on the changes. If there are 350 signatures, the referendum would begin on April 8th.

"We really want to make sure people understand the changes and how they will improve our experiences as students at Vassar before signing," a student involved in organizing the petition tells Mads.

Here is what the petition states:

"The VSA Council is the representative student body of this campus, yet so many voices cannot be included in the current structure. This restructuring would change Council to be more inclusive and effective. These amendments will:
  • Open up avenues for participation in the student government, giving space to students who are passionate about campus issues but do not want the responsibility of running a house team.
  • Strengthen the ability for residential presidents to address house issues more effectively on the New Residence Council.
  • Allow VSA Council to address meaningful campus-wide policies.
Therefore, we demand a referendum for the adoption of Article VII--"VSA Senators" and Article VIII--"Residence Council" to the VSA Constitution."

4 comments:

36c06364-5bc7-11e0-b61c-000bcdcb2996 said...

The VSA Executive Board is manipulating this group of students to push through their poorly thought-out changes to the government structure. This is about exec trying to look good, rather than about what's right for the students.

Take a very close look at this proposal before you sign it. Think about how it will minimize dorms and residential life. It's going to hurt student representation, all so exec can look productive and powerful.

Stampeding Donkey said...

Vassar students have spoken, and it's time for leadership that listens. The VSA restructuring couldn't even pass among those who wrote it, and now its Council proponents have a bout of sour grapes. I strongly oppose attempts at bringing the restructuring from a referendum. This desparate push is contrary to the students' will and would have profound effects on the election cycle. It's time for this top-down leadership to end.

Cory said...

@donkey
"This desparate push is contrary to the students' will and would have profound effects on the election cycle."

This push is actually not contrary to the students' will at all. The petition drive will lead to a student referendum, where students' voices (not those of their representatives) will be individually heard. There is no logic in saying that a referendum by the entire student body is against students' will. If the VSA were to try something else AFTER the entire VC student body has spoken, then you could bring this point up, but to do so now is just illogical.
And it will not have a profound effect on the election cycle, the referendum would begin a full week before elections start, PLENTY of time for people to decide what they are running for. And these people have all consider this anyway already

@36c
This is not about exec looking good AT ALL. If anything, this puts them more out on a limb, making them more vulnerable. If they wanted to look good they would just have laid low after the Sunday meeting.
It will not minimize dorm and residential life AT ALL. It will strengthen it on a Residence Council. VSA Council overall does not really deal with Residential issues, these issues will be discussed (under the new proposal) in a strengthened body that ONLY deals with residential issues. Therefore, they will be dealt with more effectively, leading to an improved residential experience at Vassar. And house presidents will be freed up from their VSA Council commitments, allowing them to focus more time on their individual dorm. It is a win win situation.

Also...stop by the table tomorrow if you have any questions. Try to fully learn about the proposal before completely and irrationally attacking it. The people tabling are more than happy to explain every detail of it to you. Or you can email me at coepstein@vassar.edu and we can talk about it. That would be a lot more productive for you than just ranting anonymously on here.

Seth said...
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