The Michigan Student Assembly may not be able to conduct next month’s MSA elections in a way that complies with both its constitution and governing code.
A proposal breaking down the number of MSA representatives for each of the University’s schools and colleges was voted down 20-13 at Tuesday’s meeting because the proposal failed to give a seat to the undergraduate School of Public Policy.
MSA President Zack Yost said the assembly will vote on an amended version of the proposal that provides for a Public Policy seat at its meeting tomorrow. MSA will also vote on whether to hold elections Nov. 29-30.
The assembly’s Compiled Code states that MSA must use the most current enrollment information from the registrar when determining seat allotment.
Yost said the most current information available is from the 2006 winter semester – when the school did not exist.
Under the current code, this means that Public Policy should not have a seat.
“Following the procedure of the code, you don’t give Public Policy a seat,” Yost said.
MSA’s constitution, however, states: “Each student or college shall receive at least one representative.”
It is unclear if Public Policy is covered by this clause because it may not be defined as a college under MSA’s code without a registrar sanctioned population.
Whether or not Public Policy is granted a seat, MSA may be in violation of some form of its governance. Either way, the code calls for the Central Student Judiciary to oversee the apportionment plans.
CSJ will then have final say on official seat apportionment, according to the code.
A code change, which would allow MSA to use the enrollment estimates from a college’s dean, will also likely be proposed at tomorrow’s meeting, but Yost said deans’ estimates are often unreliable and the proposal will likely be stricken from the agenda.
Because a change to the code requires at least two weeks of review, MSA will be unable to make any additional changes to the code before Wednesday’s deadline to set official seat apportionment.
“The code is not going to be changed to make accommodations for this,” Yost said.
Yost said he was confident that the election process wouldn’t be interrupted or halted.
“The election will happen as scheduled,” he said.