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ASI Senate votes no on Mistry’s veto override

The Associated Students Inc. Senate voted thumbs down on a motion to override AS President Shefali Mistry’s veto on an amendment that would change AS judiciary terms from one year to two during its final meeting of the fall semester yesterday.

Mistry said in her address on the motion that one of her concerns with the amendment was that it would make it more difficult for the student government to get students to commit to the positions.

“It is difficult enough for us to get students to commit to one year and students to finish out their one year,” Mistry said. “It’s quite a commitment to ask somebody to sign on for two years of something when they’re students and their schedules are changing every semester, let alone every year.”

Sen. Justin Todoroff of the College of Health and Human Services, who had proposed the vetoed amendment, said he thinks the two-year term would keep justices from feeling pressure to vote based on how their decisions would affect their reappointment.

“These members, this is what they do; it’s what they enjoy,” Todoroff said. “For us to basically to say now you [may] have to make a decision based on politics or based on how you may not get reappointed if you vote a specific way, that’s not fair.”

Senator-at-Large Ashley Mara Stanton responded to Todoroff’s argument.

“It’s basically up to us, the board of directors, to make sure that the president is appointing the right person in these different positions,” Stanton said. “She appoints them, but we confirm them.”

She said that if the Senate does not think candidates can hold their ground and fulfill their commitment, they will not confirm those candidates.

AS Judiciary Chief Justice Joey Edwards said he agreed with the motion to overturn the veto because he thinks the current system, where some justices are appointed weeks before elections time – when many cases are filed – needs to change.

“You need to go through this process and know who your senators are, who your cabinet members are,” Edwards said. “Otherwise you can’t make an informed, rational decision having to do with what’s going to happen for the full next year inside of AS government.”

AS Vice President and Senate Chairman Hironao Okahana said he did not support overturning the veto because he thinks the two-year term would not work within a university structure that encourages students to graduate in four to five years.

Fourteen senators voted against the motion, while three voted in favor of it. Sen. Denise Wright of the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, who was sworn in at the beginning of the meeting, abstained from the vote.

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