Presidential debate draws a crowd, SG constitution amended

The SG presidential debate last Wednesday at the Rat, with eight candidates vying for President, was, not surprisingly, bristling with students.

Hans Grunwaldt, the SG Supreme Court Chief Justice, commented that there were more people at this year’s debate sitting around just three tables – and the place was packed – than there had been in total attendance at previous year’s debates.

That is great news for student involvement.

Despite this, I was disappointed that the majority of students present were not there to learn more about the candidates and affirm their choice as voters.

The sea of different colored T-shirts with slogans declared that most students there were only intending to show support for the candidate they already supported.

I hope that next year SG can reach out to the students who either do not know who to vote for, or are not intending to vote – and can provide the presidential debate as an informative event rather than a pre-outcome one.

On to Wednesday’s Senate meeting, where a bill was passed to amend the SG Constitution.

The major change to the document was in the apportionment of residential seats within Senate. The previous Commuter North, Central and South districts were combined to form a Commuter Area with pooled Senators.

The Commuter Area was then added to previously on-campus residential constituencies, and consequently commuters will now receive a number of Senate seats proportional to their student population figures, just like on-campus housing.

The amended SG Constitution has now gone to Dr. Patricia Whitely, vice president for student affairs, for approval.

I also have great news: since publication of my article last week, I have been contacted by three members of SG informing me that different parts of the SG website that I condemned for being out-of-date have since been updated.

This goes to show that criticism from the press can indeed be constructive.

Don’t forget to vote in the SG elections – voting continues today and tomorrow in the UC Breezeway.

Even those uninterested by SG candidates should vote, as the ballot includes referenda pertinent to all UM students.

The next SG meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 25 has changed venues from the UC Ballrooms to the Faculty Lounge, located next to the Food Court. Meeting times are from 4 to 6 p.m.

For more information visit the SG website at

Amy S. Lawrence can be reached at