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The ECVP Act

Establishing Clear Voting Procedures Act of 2021

Primary Sponsor: Harry Gardner, College Council Class of 2022

Additional Sponsors:

  • John Fuentes, College Council Class of 2022

  • T​transition Committee

T​itle I: Background

WHEREAS with the formal separation of Undergraduate and Graduate Student Government, College Council is now, per the IDEA Act and USG Constitution, the “primary decision-making body of the Student Government and voice of the Student Association”.

WHEREAS Article IV §7 of the previous College Council By-Laws states that “[i]f sensitive or potentially endangering information is presented or debated, the use of photography and video recording devices may be prohibited by a 2/3 vote of the Council. Note-taking and audio recording shall always be permitted”.

WHEREAS the College Council of 2020-2021 held an email vote on June 4th, 2021, in which no time was given for synchronous debate, the votes of individual College Council representatives were kept private, and vote totals were not announced to the public.

WHEREAS on issues of importance to the Student Association, hiding information on how a constituent’s representatives voted presents a democratic deficit that harms the ability of the voter to make a decision on how to vote in line with their values. 

Title II: Proposed Amendments to Bylaws

BE IT RESOLVED in Article 4 of the College Council By-Laws shall feature the following new §8:

“College Council shall principally hold votes over resolutions and other measures, in which the public interest is generally concerned, at public meetings of College Council. If the College Council believes that the matter at hand ought to be passed asynchronously, a vote should be held over email whereby the responses of individual members shall be noted and included in the next meeting’s College Council minutes.”

BE IT RESOLVED Article 4 of the College Council By-Laws shall feature the following new §9:

“In scenarios where open debate and public vote totals present an overwhelming danger to the physical safety of individual members, College Council may decide to hide how individual representatives voted upon a simple majority of College Council concurring. The tally of this vote must be made public and an open debate held on the issue of safety. The College Council shall agree upon a summation of the anticipated and specific threat to safety, which shall be made public in the College Council minutes of that meeting and as a footnote to any relevant measures.” 

BE IT RESOLVED Article 4 of the College Council By-Laws shall feature the following new §10:

“Confirmations, whereby College Council approves the membership of applicants to USG, shall be inherently vote-shielded so as to prevent intimidation of College Council representatives as a means to support or oppose a given nominee. Deliberation will not be subject to restriction in the case of confirmations. ” 

BE IT RESOLVED Article 4 of the College Council By- Laws shall feature the following new §110:

“Resolutions or votes, in which College Council is signing on to a wider Undergraduate Student Government measure, are in effect always in the public interest and therefore must be decided at a College Council meeting and not over email.” 

BE IT RESOLVED if the Transition Committee’s revisions to the College Council By-Laws affect its overall structure in a way that causes the specific placement of these clauses absurd, the Transition Committee will be at liberty to place these bylaw changes where it sees fit.

BE IT RESOLVED the ECVP Act shall take effect beginning after the adjournment of the meeting in which it was passed. 

The Transition Committee on 28 August 2021 reviewed and introduced to College Council on 7 September 2021 this Resolution. After relevant review and debate, the College Council of 2021-2022 passed this Resolution with unanimous consent. This Resolution thus represents the voice of the Undergraduate Student Association of the University of Chicago.