LUCC struggles to find reps

Amy Siebels

LUCC will have to run another round of elections for student representatives after the first round left five positions vacant. Without additional representatives, the council will be unable to fulfill its most basic duties: creating committees and allocating funds to student groups.In the first election, which ended Tuesday, nine students ran unopposed for 14 student representative positions.

One problem with the low number of representatives is that at least seven student reps must be present at any given meeting. With a full 14 members, that’s only a 50 percent turnout; with nine, only two can miss any meeting.

But the most pressing issues, according to LUCC vice president Tariq Engineer, are the Committee on Committees, which requires exactly four representatives, and the Finance Committee, which requires seven.

The problem, Engineer explained, is that COC and Finance are mutually exclusive; no representative can serve on both. That means at least two more representatives must be elected (for a total of 11) just to allow those committees to exist.

“In order for LUCC as a body to achieve something – basically just to function – you need to have the system in place,” Engineer said. “We don’t have the system in place.”

The COC is in charge of appointing members to all other committees. Without a COC, no other committees — the basis of all projects in LUCC — could be created.

The Finance Committee is the sole body authorized to allocate money from the general fund to student groups. The council has a general fund of roughly $250,000, and $100,000 has yet to be allocated. Without a Finance Committee, not only would student groups be unable to file allocation requests, but any change to a pre-approved budget – say, a speaker that costs $500 instead of $400 -would be impossible to make.

In a proper election, two student representatives are chosen from each “district” on campus. There are seven districts, most consisting of one large residence hall. After the first election, Kohler needs two student representatives, and Sage, Colman, and the Formal Group houses each need one.

LUCC is made up of a General Council (president, vice president, 14 student representatives, and four faculty representatives) and a cabinet (treasurer, financial secretary, recording secretary, corresponding secretary, and parliamentarian). The cabinet is in charge of publicizing the elections and encouraging students to run.

Engineer said many things went wrong in the first election. The Polling and Election Committee should have been appointed last spring, but wasn’t. That left only committee chair Bill Dalsen and parliamentarian Davis Hudson -who is automatically on the Polling and Election committee – in charge. Normally the committee would have five to seven members.

The RHDs were involved in this year’s election, because voting took place at the halls’ front desks (and at the Union for small houses) at the same time as hall council elections. But some RHDs failed to get the word out to their residents, and there was virtually no campaigning since all candidates were running unopposed.

The second round of elections will take place Friday, Oct. 22. LUCC members are now taking nominations. Contact one of these representatives to run for office if your district has an opening: Davis Hudson (Kohler), Sara Compas or Jaime Nodarse (Sage), Joel Rogers (Colman), or Andy York (Formal Group houses).