Student Senate opposes proposed amendment to lower quorum

UW System Student Representatives proposed amending its constitution to lower quorum since it has been unable to meet it twice this year

More stories from Rachyl Houterman


Photo by Kar Wei Cheng

Student Senate voted in opposition to a proposed amendment to the UW System Student Representatives constitution that would lower quorum.

Student Senate on Monday voted in opposition to an amendment to the UW System Student Representatives Constitution that if ratified by a majority of UW campuses, would have lowered quorum for Student Representatives meetings.

According to the resolution, the Student Representatives has failed to meet quorum twice. Failure to meet quorum inhibits the body’s ability to hold its meetings and “accomplish its mission.”

Currently, quorum requires a majority of all campuses to meet quorum. These campus representatives may attend in person or via teleconference. Under to proposed amendments, quorum would require “the presence of campus or campuses from a majority of institutions…”

The proposed change takes into consideration the recent UW System restructuring, where 4-year campuses absorbed one or more of the UW colleges.

“Any campus of an institution being present counts towards the presence of the institution,” the amendment reads.

Voting rights would also be impacted in that a branch campus would be able to vote on both its own and its flagship campus’ behalf if the flagship campus were not in attendance.

For example, if UW-Eau Claire’s representative were not in attendance at the Student Representatives meeting but a UW-Eau Claire — Barron County representative was, the latter would be given voting rights on behalf of both schools.

Many senators spoke in opposition to the amendment, citing differences in school population figures, contradictions with Robert’s Rules of Order and desires for the Student Representatives to seek internal solutions instead of lowering quorum.

Senator Carter Rush spoke in opposition of the amendment.

“We don’t know a lot about the other schools in this system, so it would be weird to be able to vote for them,” Rush said.

Senator Josephy Murphy spoke in support of the amendment, arguing that the change would at least permit the Student Representatives to conduct business.

“On one hand, you do have to put a little faith in other schools to represent you,” Murphy said, “but at least you can be represented at meetings and at least they do get to meet.”

UW-Stevens Point also voted in opposition to the amendment. UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee and UW-Stevens Point at Wasau have all ratified the amendment.

Senate opposed the amendment 4-22-2.

Houterman can be reached at [email protected].