Constitution’s transparency, not length, must be focus
The Student Association’s Committee of Constitutional Revisions is in the process of amending the SA constitution (see p. 4). Though the bill convening the committee last spring spoke of “procedural deficiencies” it sought to correct, over and over again, we have heard various members of student government complain that the SA constitution is “too long.” However, without detailed specific concerns regarding the content of the constitution, objections over the length of the constitution seem misguided.
While some procedures may feel cumbersome or finicky, the SA risks not being accessible to students without them. Details and specifications, such as those relating to keeping open records of votes and dictating when meeting dates and locations must be publicly announced, are important components of the constitution that help maintain transparency and accountability within the SA. We understand that it seems these stipulations benefit only a handful of inquisitive students, but it is unreasonable to expect students to value constitutional procedure when it seems the SA does not.
This is not to say the constitution is perfect; for example, the article on blanket tax and finances does not clearly define the purpose of the initiative fund to which students contribute through their tuition. This is an example of a vagueness that ought to be corrected. Still, the Thresher’s coverage of constitutional violations that occurred over the past three years indicates the constitution’s length has not so much been the problem as the failure to comply
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Rice rescinds outdoor mask requirement, testing no longer required for fully vaccinated community members
Rice announced today that there will no longer be a mask requirement in outdoor spaces and that fully vaccinated individuals will not be required to take weekly COVID-19 tests, in an email sent to the Rice community by Kevin Kirby, chair of the Crisis Management Advisory Committee. The announcement follows the results of a community survey of vaccination status, which revealed that 74 percent of the Rice community members have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.