After three days of scrutiny over the draft of the new ASSU Constitution, the Governing Documents Commission (GDC) has chosen not to pursue ratification. The tension over the new document arose on Monday when several former ASSU officials submitted an open letter to the ASSU legislative bodies urging them not to pursue ratification at this time. The past officials pointed to several possible problem spots that needed to be addressed before the entire student body could vote on the measure.
In a rather shocking development, ASSU President Michael Cruz sent an email to ASSU lists today with a closing statement from the GDC. It read:
Nevertheless, in light of the ongoing dispute involving ASSU alumni regarding these issues, the ASSU GDC has determined that it is unable to continue pursuing the ratification of the new ASSU Constitution. We do not believe that to do so would be in the best interests of the current Association.
It is uncertain whether or not this means that they expect their new draft of the governing documents to be entirely discarded, or simply adapted by future ASSU officials. They also wrote: “We therefore urge the next ASSU Executive, Undergraduate Senate, and Graduate Student Council to continue the important work of seriously analyzing the internal governing structure of the ASSU.”
Update (March 21, 2012 at 11:02 AM):
David Gobaud (BS ’10), past ASSU president, and one of the leaders of the alumni movement to call for delay of the revised constitution draft, has provided comment to the Review.
When asked if the GDC’s decision to drop the pursuit of the new constitution is a good idea, he wrote in an email:
Without question – it is absolutely, beyond any doubt whatsoever, a good thing that the GDC appears to be abandoning attempts to ratify the current draft of the proposed constitution this spring. The draft in its current form has egregious and fundamental flaws that practically eliminates ASSU independence and removes rights that have been guaranteed to students in the constitution for decades.
Gobaud suggests three steps for writing a new constitution: research and drafting, review and modification, and student body/trustee approval. He stated, “The GDC has completed phase 1 and I applaud the committee for its dedication and hard work. I absolutely believe the ASSU Governing Documents need updated and can be improved.” But Gobaud believes that the review and modification period requires more time than has been provided, up to at least one year.