Last ASWC Senate Meeting Brings Bylaw Overhaul

Sarah Cornett

Significant changes in the ASWC bylaws were made at the final ASWC Senate meeting of the year last Sunday night, April 28. Senators voted to revise a number of measures previously in the bylaws, including those pertaining to clubs.

“The old bylaws reflected the house of clubs, which was a structure no longer present in ASWC,” said senior Hannah Holloran, chair of the Ad-Hoc bylaw committee. “We needed new bylaws to represent how ASWC runs now. There’s a new section concerning clubs … we needed new bylaws to reflect how clubs actually interact with ASWC.”

The house of clubs is a structure no longer present in ASWC, one where club leaders sat on a separate ASWC body. Currently, and something that will be reflected in the new bylaws, a Club Director oversees the creation of clubs and moderates approval of a club within ASWC. ASWC Clubs will also be required to have two representatives, a president and budget manager, a notable shift from the previous bylaws that required only a president.

The bylaw changes also reflected further criteria for service-learning organizations. These groups, clubs who apply for service-learning status at least two years after their creation, will now be required to perform a service project that reflects the mission of their organization. Presently, Campus Climate Challenge and Whitman Direct Action are the only groups with this status.

A measure barring campus organizations receiving a fixed eight percent or more of the ASWC budget from applying for funds through the Travel and Student Development fund was also passed. This means organizations including The Pioneer and Whitman Events Board (WEB) will have to include possible travel expenses in their general operating budgets.

In another notable change, the Oversight Committee will now be required to disclose any investigation it conducts. Previously, the committee could keep such investigations under wraps, but with the new bylaws, the chair of the Oversight Committee will be required to share the subject and cause for investigation if asked.

Additionally, the bylaws included a measure mandating that two percent of the annual budget will be added to the Lifecycle fund.  Lifecycle, which is a savings resource set up to replace equipment for campus media organizations and the ASWC office, had not been allocated money for two years before this one, resulting in this year’s Finance Committee to allocate $24,000 to it. This had the effect of tighter allocations to clubs for the upcoming academic year.

“It makes it easier for the budgeting cycle in the years to come,” said Holloran.