Staff Editorial:United Council

Two weeks ago Student Senate voted 24-3 to secede from United Council. Senate elected to disavow United Council, believing the greater governing body of the University of Wisconsin System acted out of line during 2011’s budget repair bill protests.

However, prior to Senate’s vote, the legality of withdrawing from United Council’s jurisdiction was not looked into, nor was the student
body informed.

The student body should be insulted by Senate’s decision to spend so much time on this one topic. There are other subjects the student body should be concerning itself with on the student body’s behalf, and removing ourselves from United Council is not one of them.

First of all, before going ahead with this vote, Student Senate should have checked if it’s even within their power to disavow United Council. Truth is, it’s not.

In order to remove our campus from United Council, a campus-wide student referendum needs to be voted on. This is because involvement in UC is made possible through Mandatory Refundable Fees, which Student Senate has no control over.

These fees, which cost $3 per student, can be refunded upon request by the student at any time. Again, Senate has no control over these fees. To remove UW-Eau Claire from UC, the issue could only be submitted to a vote by the entire student body.

By voting on the issue as only a Student Senate, not a whole student body, Senate is insinuating that the student body cannot be trusted to make the decision.

Secondly, Senate did not run the secession past the student body whatsoever. As the governing body of this campus, Senate should be consulting and representing the student population in everything they do. By running through this vote without ever gaging student support of the issue, Senate is failing to accurately represent us.

It seems that this entire vote spawned from a vendetta against UC and its recent behavior, not for the benefit of the student body.
In the future, Senate needs to both check to make sure such votes are legal as well as consult the student body before voting on the issues.

The staff editorial reflects the views only of the editorial board, not those of The Spectator or the university.