The resolution supporting the Lifetime Enrichment Achievement Program failed to pass the Student Association Senate on Monday. However, SA President Justin Onwenu will present the results of both the SA and student body votes to the Committee of Undergraduate Curriculum. If the CUC approves, the resolution will be voted on by the Faculty Senate.
We are skeptical of Onwenu’s decision to bring the proposal to the CUC after the Senate’s vote; while a simple majority of the Senate, which represents the student body, supported moving forward with LEAP by a narrow margin, the vote fell well below the constitutionally mandated two-thirds threshold. Although most students marked themselves in favor of LEAP in the Survey of all Students, Onwenu cannot discount the qualitative feedback that senators and presidents have received nor the Senate vote. Given that almost every other piece of Senate legislation introduced in the last four years has passed, the LEAP resolution’s failure should certainly raise alarms.
Onwenu may be right that a vocal minority is holding back the LEAP proposal. Nevertheless, he should ensure that his presentation of the proposal to the CUC is nuanced and representative of the diverse opinions expressed through this process, both for and against. Onwenu should not present the 13-12 vote on the proposal as a consensus that the student body has already decided to favor. By doing so, Onwenu would risk completely disregarding significant concerns among the student body, not to mention ignoring the deliberative process which the Senate is intended to establish. Instead, Onwenu should emphasize the resolution does not have the legislative support of the student government.