“I don’t give a damn!”: GUSA senator stages sit-in at SAC constitution meeting
As The Hoya reports, SAC passed an amendment to its constitution last night that officially gave its chairs a power that current SAC chair Sophia Behnia (COL `09) says they have had for years: the ability to independently a successor independent of outside (GUSA) review.
But what The Hoya doesn’t tell you is that the scene at SAC last night was utter chaos.
According to Voice reporter Alisha Crovetto, SAC carried out business-as-usual, hearing out clubs’ requests for funding and discussing the requests individually, until they brought the meeting to a vote. Members of SAC then asked everyone to leave the room (SAC members vote in privacy so their peers cannot individually call them out for their votes).
Most complied, but Nick Troiano, (COL `11), one of the many GUSA Senators in attendance for discussion about the constitution (GUSA and SAC have entered into a tangled relationship over SAC transparency in the last few weeks), would have none of it. He conducted a brief sit-in, refusing to leave the room on the grounds that SAC meetings are open.
At that point, SAC members ushered reporters, GUSA Senators, and club members back into the room, where Behnia had decided to move up the vote on constitutional issues.
“You can all stay in here for this vote, I don’t give a damn!” she yelled.
At that point, Crovetto says, there were “angry voices and everyone talking over everyone.” One GUSA Senator said, “Let’s not rush this,” to which Behnia replied, “Your colleague forced us to do this.”
After brief comments from the gallery by Troiano and Senator Matt Wagner (SFS `11), SAC voted 12-0-1 (Behnia abstained “as usual,”Crovetto says) to approve a new constitution which severs official ties to GUSA, for now.
So why wasn’t all this in The Hoya article? Your guess is as good as mine. The article as a whole is slightly reductive, mistaking months of GUSA-SAC collaboration on a more transparent selection process for something entirely different:
“The change was made after months of collaboration between SAC and GUSA, and was designed to better reflect SAC’s current selection protocol, according to SAC Chair Sophia Behnia (COL ’09).“
This doesn’t reflect that many GUSA Senators felt blindsided last week when they heard of the changes to the SAC constituton that Behnia had proposed. But a Voice article knows better:
“The GUSA Senate was caught off guard by the proposed amendments because recently, GUSA and SAC have been working to make SAC more transparent and accountable to the student body.”
Look for more SAC coverage in Thursday’s Voice.