The Bar-On Brief: I wonder what leadership can do for me

Make the ASB constitution a public document


Illustration by Elinda Xiao

By Shauli Bar-On , Columnist

The Bar-On Brief: A weekly column
The Bar-On Brief: A weekly column

The leadership class voted last week to passed legislation to allow club presidents who also hold leadership office to obtain dual credit for attending executive meetings.

There’s nothing wrong with the new rule. But there is a question I have pondered since I heard the news: since when could the leadership pass legislation?

The answer to this question lies in the ASB constitution, one that is being held from the public and has been since last year when The Editorial Board first asked to read it. I was in leadership last year and was denied access to the document that spells out my responsibilities.

So what can leadership do for me? Yes, they can listen to me and plan events with my input, but they can probably do much more. In reality, I can’t answer that question, and the upsetting part is neither can most of them. There’s an easy solution to kill the two birds with one stone: make the constitution a public document.

The select few leadership students who have seen parts of the constitution say some sections are obsolete. For example, the constitution says class officers should be elected every semester.

Others who have had access to this hidden document say it contains a section that directly impacts students: the petition section. If a certain proposal earns 100 student signatures, the change would be entered into the leadership discussion agenda. Who knows what else is being hidden from us?

It’s great that some members of leadership are aware of these rules and tricks so they can pass legislation, and I commend those that use their rights. But since the elected officers represent us, they could also use their privilege to help the rest of the student body should we have a request. Since the constitution applies to all of us, we all deserve to know how to use it to our benefit.

If the administration or leadership truly believes the document needs a full revamp, then scheduling a meeting to ratify the document — with student input — would be appropriate. I just hope the amending procedures are spelled out in the constitution.

If no changes are necessary, then put that new ASB website to use and publicize the document. Show students and elected officers what is in their power to enact.

If we’re going to have rules by which our representatives can lead and hear student input, they should be transparent and enforced.

Club constitutions are turned in every June, but the school’s is long overdue.

And with that, I rest my case.

The Bar-On Brief is a weekly column that runs Thursdays. 

Follow Shauli Bar-On on Twitter @shauli_baron

Corrections: A previous version of this article stated legislation was passed on Tuesday when in fact it was passed last week. 

A previous version of this article stated the legislation only applied to ASB officer holders. The legislation applies to all leadership office holders and not only ASB.