The HBS Student Association Senate last Wednesday approved a series of changes to its constitution, paving the way for the first-year class to elect new SA co-presidents and a Chief Financial Officer next month.
Current SA co-Presidents Lori Schock (OD) and Mark Plunkett (OK) had made accelerating the elections schedule a top priority. In the past, elections were held in late March-after most clubs had elected their officers, significantly reducing the pool of candidates for the SA posts.
The elections schedule change was just one of a broader package of constitutional revisions that were necessary to reflect the elimination of the January cohort. The SA originally adopted Co-Presidents so that both the September and January cohorts would have a representative at the top level of the student government. However, while that need is gone, Schock and Plunkett successfully argued that the scope of the position is broad enough to warrant two people.
Under the provisions adopted by the senate, first-year students will be asked to organize “slates” of two candidates running for the position. Although Senators debated an alternative, they concluded that Co-Pesidents who knew each other before the election would govern more effectively.
Under the new constitution, the Senate’s Executive Committee, made up of the Co-Presidents and CFO, will appoint a Chief Operating Officer for SA Ventures to join the committee, subject to approval of the full Senate and input from Ventures’ professional staff.
The other major change to the constitution was a provision that requires attendance at all meetings, unless a Senator is confronted with “unavoidable circumstances or conflicts.” Plunkett said prior years’ EC Senators have had poor attendance records and that the new provision will clarify their responsibilities.
Senator Brad Staats (OB), who chairs the Senate’s Operations Committee, said the successful vote will clear the way for his committee to begin publicizing the elections. Interested RC students should watch their e-mail.