Council rules on Yard

By the

February 15, 2001

The Constitutional Council ruled for the Yard on two of three complaints presented against the Yard Student Association last Friday.

Two students, Andrew Katz (CAS ‘01) and Aaron Polkey (CAS ‘02), claimed that the Yard referendum was illegitimate because Yard supporters had not adhered to the laws of the Georgetown University Student Association constitution.

Yard supporters collected over 1,700 signatures on a petition requesting a referendum on an amendment that could replace GUSA with the Yard Student Association. Katz claimed that an amendment could not repeal an entire constitution.

The Constitutional Council ruled that an amendment is a change in a legal document, whether large or small. The Yard is therefore free to make any change to their constitution two weeks before the vote on the referendum.

Katz also claimed that the Yard supporters had made changes supporting the Yard constitution after gathering signatures on an original constitution.

The Constitutional Council ruled that the Yard supporters could make changes to their constitution and that the changes must be presented to the student body 14 days before the referendum.

Finally, the Constitutional Council agreed with Polkey that the referendum would need 25 percent of the student body, or 1625 students, to vote affirmatively in order to replace GUSA with the Yard. There had been some confusion over whether the referendum would pass with 25 percent of the student body voting affirmatively or if only a majority of the 25 percent needed to vote affirmatively.

“I think that the decision to keep the number of votes needed at 1,600 was very good. It ensures that the new student governemnt has the real approval of the student body,” Polkey said.

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