By Amrutha Sivakumar, For The Daily
Published November 13, 2012
As the semester passes the halfway point, the Central Student Government has not publicly released resolutions, meeting minutes or agendas from the past three months in a manner consistent with its governing documents.
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The minutes were last published on Sept. 25, and CSG has neglected to upload information from five meetings since that date.
Article II of the CSG Constitution states that the Assembly “shall produce, publish, and maintain an Assembly Register as an account of all Assembly proceedings.” The register is ordained to include “minutes, attendance, reports, recorded votes, and resolutions.”
Additionally, Article II of the Compiled Code, a document defining the logistics for all committees of the CSG, further mandates, “the front office staff shall, as part of their responsibilities, within seventy-two hours of the adjournment of a Student Assemble meeting, publish the Assembly Register to the CSG web site.”
“Anything that the Assembly votes to accept, that goes under business, should be eventually posted under the archives on the CSG website,” said Engineering sophomore Andrew Modell, vice chair of the CSG Rules Committee — a committee designed to govern the agenda and proceedings of the CSG.
Following an interview with members of the CSG rules committee at its weekly meeting on Sunday, recent resolutions — that were previously absent from CSG’s website — were added to the site.
Chapter V of the Operating Procedures of the Assembly, providing instruction for the treatment of assembly records, requires the existence of an Assembly Journal, or a “verbal, verbatim transcript by the Secretary” of the proceedings of every meeting. Though the chapter states that the assembly would make each of these transcripts accessible to the public within two weeks after a meeting, these transcripts are also not available online.
The chapter did not specify who would be responsible for publishing these on the CSG website, and, at Tuesday’s assembly meeting, assembly chair Michael Proppe said that is part of the problem.
“The language in the compiled code is right now not good,” he said. “I actually spent most of my weekend working on fixing the compiled to fix procedural stuff like that so that it’s clear who is putting that stuff online.”
Proppe, who said he himself takes responsibility for the lateness, added that the compiled codes mentions a webmaster, a position that currently doesn't exist.
Though the CSG website hasn't been updated per the standards in its governing documents, Law School student Jeremy Keeney, chair of the Rules Committee, pointed out social networking is an easy and accessible way for students to stay up-to-date with the happenings of CSG.
He added that most of the minutes and resolutions of the organization are posted on the committee’s Facebook page.
“Actually, our Rules Committee Facebook group has all of our minutes, all of our agendas,” he said.
Modell, nonetheless, noted a lack of awareness among students about the Rules Committee and its role in governing the proceedings of Assembly meetings.
“If anyone looks at the minutes or attends the student Assembly meetings then they will have a good idea of what the Rules Committee will be doing,” Modell said.
He added that he would like for the group to have greater interaction with students in the future.
“We would love students to reach out to us,” he said. “Usually if they have a complaint, they would just show up at the Assembly meeting and discuss it during their Community Concerns, as opposed to discussing it with the Rules Committee as should happen.”
CSG president Manish Parikh added that in previous years, the student government website has not been used to its potential.
“(The website has) rarely been updated with information but this year we’re making this a focus,” he said.