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Student Government Supreme Court upholds Senator ruling

The Student Government Supreme Court recently voted to uphold the SG Senate decision that will keep Alex Vargas Vila from winning the position of School of Architecture senator.

In a unanimous decision passed on Jan. 22, the Court maintained the Senate ruling that Vila did not receive enough votes to be ratified as senator.

The Senate vote, held on Nov. 1, was 17 in favor, seven opposed and five abstaining.

Jon Levine, former Stanford Residential College senator and Zach Chan, Pearson Residential College senator, requested in a letter to Chief Justice Kelly Calisto dated Nov. 22 that the Court overrule the Senate’s decision, arguing that the amount of votes Vila received constituted a majority.

Although the 17 votes in favor of Vila constituted a majority of the 29 present and voting senators, it did not constitute a majority of the current 43-member Senate.

The opinion of the Court, written by Associate Justice Francis Carbone, explained that a majority of the vote means the majority vote of the seats currently filled in the Senate. Carbone also wrote that the Senate needs a better method of voting, in particular to change its no vote policies.

John Constantinide, speaker of the Senate, said he also acts as lawyer when a case is brought against the legislative body by the Court.

“I’m glad the Court reviewed the ruling,” he said. “It’s necessary for the Court to review all actions, because that’s what keeps it sound.”

At the Senate meeting on Wednesday, Jacob Powell, a freshman, was sworn in as the new School of Architecture senator.

Jon Levine, Zach Chan and Alex Vargas Vila were unavailable for comment.

Megan Ondrizek may be contacted at m.ondrizek@umiami.edu.

February 2, 2007

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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published in print every Tuesday.