LB debates appeals process for student org charters

Oliver Soglin, Staff Writer

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This week’s MCSG meeting opened with a discussion of proposed revisions to the bylaws.

The first issue discussed was whether there should be an appeals process for Student Organizations Committee (SOC) decisions. The SOC is responsible for approving new organization charters, and some members feel that organizations whose charters are rejected should be able to appeal the decision to the entire Legislative Body (LB).

Financial Affairs Committee (FAC) member Jason Kohn ’20 was one individual who supported implementing such a process.

“If the org and the SOC are in disagreement — the SOC is only five people — I think it makes sense that we have the LB to have that larger discussion,” Kohn said.

SOC Chair Camden Moser ’20 pointed out that rejected organizations are already free to reapply the next semester.

“Last year JVP [Jewish Voices for Peace] was rejected in the fall and successfully reapplied the next semester,” Moser said.

Some members proposed alternatives to allowing organizations to appeal charter decisions to the full LB, such as allowing appeals if the SOC’s decision is not unanimous, or allowing orgs to appeal to the Judicial Council.

“We are very open to working with groups trying to become orgs,” SOC member Inaara Peermohammed ’23 said, “We’re helping them fix their charters so we can accept them.”

MCSG President Blair Cha ’20 encouraged the LB to remember that SOC members are elected by the student body.

“You all were elected to make decisions for the rest of campus,” Cha said. “The student body trusts their decisions, so we should respect that.”

The LB voted to exclude an SOC appeals process from the bylaws revision by a vote of 13-4-2.

The LB then discussed a proposal to create a new staff position for a person who could assist student organizations with media production and publicity and help MCSG with its outreach to the student body.

SOC member Linden Kronberg ’22 suggested that assisting student organizations could be a function of the existing Community Engagement Officer position.

“I’m hesitant to add so much language to other sections while leaving the Community Engagement Officer section so sparse,” Kronberg said.

Others felt differently.

“There’s already a lot of things on this list for this person to do, and this one is very broad,” Kaitie Brown  ’22 said.

MCSG Vice President and Student Services and Relations Committee Chair Fatiya Kedir ’21 pointed out that a past effort to add a similar position failed because the person hired was not given enough work.

“That’s what happened my freshman year, where the person was there, they were given a couple things at the beginning and nothing after,” Kedir said.

MCSG advisor Andrew Wells suggested that a position for outreach to the student body might be redundant to the roles of LB members.

“Part of being a student leader means doing the work,” Wells said. “Some days there’ll be drudgery tasks like ordering pizzas or making posters, and maybe it’s not fun — I didn’t like making posters when I was an RA, but it was a learning experience.

“Community outreach is flat-out listed as a job for class reps,” Wells said. “Hiring someone to do that work for you is a cop out.”

The LB voted not to have the proposed position assist student organizations, but postponed discussion on the position as a whole to future bylaws committee meetings.

The LB concluded the meeting with a reminder that the campaigning periods for senior and junior class representatives and program board chair has begun.

Elections will last from Dec. 9 until Dec. 12. Winning candidates will be announced on Dec. 13.

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