UB Student Association considers splitting SISH Council, discusses improving constitution

Joint session called to discuss proposed amendments to SA constitution


During the winter break, the Student Association executive board, professional staff and attorney Josh Korman closely reviewed its constitution. After a careful review, they drafted 17 amendments.

SA President Minahil Khan called for an SA Assembly and Senate joint session meeting Wednesday night in Knox 110 to discuss the proposed amendments. The groups met to allow assembly members and senators a chance to provide input on each of the amendments, as well as make any inquires.

“Sean [Kaczmarek], Joe [Pace] and I really took a hard look at the constitution to figure out where we can make this document better,” Khan said. “There’s a lot of excessive stuff that hasn’t really been used in a couple of years and a lot of things that don’t necessarily make sense the way they were written so we wanted to clarify things.”

Korman went through each amendment and answered any legal questions the body had concerning the constitution.

“With respect to 16 of the 17 I think I would describe them all as being relatively minor changes, clarifications, nothing that will affect anything you’re familiar with as far as the operations or activities of SA day-to-day,” Korman said.

He said some changes are procedural while others are clarifications of wording. The proposed amendments will remove “unnecessary wording” that could be “long and confusing,” according to Korman.

Korman said the amendments are separated into distinct amendments so that each one could be considered on its own merits.

“This way they don’t vividly have to be addressed one by one, but can be addressed one by one if you want to,” Korman said.

One proposed amendment that would have great impact is the division of the Special Interests, Services and Hobbies Council (SISH) into two separate councils that will each have its own coordinator.

“SISH used to be separated at one point and then it just made sense to combine them all and now its gotten so big where [SISH coordinator] Megan [Glander] now had to deal with double the clubs than I did, so you’re essentially dealing with double the work,” Kaczmarek, SA vice president and former SISH coordinator, said.

The SISH Council currently consists of roughly 60 clubs, the largest council in SA.

Glander said splitting up the two clubs will help provide better advocacy, therefore she believes it will help benefit the council.

“I really believe it could help get everyone to work together for these specific groups,” Glander said “I think that they could use that representation, so I believe this is a great amendment to the constitution.”

Khan said splitting the clubs up would help to provide more similarities amongst the councils and help build a good rapport.

“One of the parts of the resolution also says that if there is a club that has a concern with each new club their classified under, they can come to Sean with that concern, and if both Sean and the coordinator determine to re-classify them that could happen,” Korman said.

Korman said a hobby is defined as something one does for fun while a special interest is “something relating to some cause of some sort,” which is why they should be divided.

These amendments will take effect at the end of the school year on May 7, if passed.

“Basically nothing will affect anything this semester,” Korman said. “Anything you’re used to under the current constitution will stay the same no matter what.”

Ashley Inkumsah is a news desk editor and can be reached at ashley.inkumsah@ubspectrum.com.