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SA must revert to old constitution until formal hearing takes place, UCourt rules

UCourt is currently investigating the SA for allegations of power grabbing, misrepresenting constitutional changes


A gavel sits on a desk in the University Court room. Brandon Chen / Thresher

By Riya Misra     4/1/24 12:56pm

The Student Association will temporarily revert to its old constitution, dated March 8, 2023, University Court chair Hugo Gerbich Pais announced March 29

UCourt is currently investigating allegations that the SA “acted improperly” by failing to disclose the new constitution’s elimination of voter turnout thresholds on their ballot.

UCourt ruled that the SA must revert to their old constitution until a formal hearing, which will take place mid-April, is conducted. A date has not yet been set.

The new constitution was ratified Feb. 29 with an 83.2% approval vote in the elections. Immediately after the election concluded, UCourt announced they were investigating a complaint, filed a week prior, contesting the ballot’s validity.

““[The SA] misrepresented the content of the amendment in order to pass an amendment that consolidated power in the hands of fewer people,” the complainant, an unnamed student, wrote.

The new constitution removed the 20% voter turnout requirement and two-thirds majority needed to pass constitutional amendments, both changes that the ballot did not include on its official summary.

The new constitution would also allocate $14.50 of each student’s Blanket Tax to the Thresher, grant college presidents and senators more say in SA spending and decrease the approval threshold for resolutions from two-thirds to a simple majority. Additional changes include semantic changes and clarifying language about succession order.

UCourt conducted its preliminary review March 29 and unanimously voted to proceed to a formal hearing. In preliminary reviews, an investigative panel composed of a presiding member, investigator and two UCourt members reviews the complaint and relevant evidence. Unless the panel unanimously deems the evidence insufficient, it then refers the case to a formal hearing, according to the Student Association bylaws, SA BL 1504 Section 2.3.

Gerbich Pais had previously said that UCourt’s investigative panel would, upon its preliminary review, either dismiss the case or motion for a formal hearing.

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