For AMS Speaker policy changes, timing is everything

Passed amendment to AMS constitution allows Speaker to secure two seats

Image by: Vincent Lin

A recent push to change the AMS Speaker policy just before the AMS election season seems too hasty.  

At AMS Assembly on Dec 1, a motion arose to amend the AMS constitution, which before had prohibited the Assembly Speaker from running for AMS executive in the January election. 

The proposed amendment would not only allow future Speakers to run, but specifically allow current AMS Speaker Palmer Lockridge to run for an executive position this year.

ASUS representative Craig Draeger, who lost the bid for AMS executive in 2013, and his former teammate Alexander Prescott, argued that the change should only take place after the current AMS Speaker completed his term. 

Prescott questioned whether the heated argument over the motion’s immediate passing “is an implication that the current Speaker is looking to run in the coming AMS election” and that is the only reason this issue is relevant at this time of year. 

When the CEO and Speaker position were held by the same person, as was the case several years ago, there would be a conflict of interest for the Speaker to place a bid for AMS executive. Since the positions were separated, the conflict of interest doesn’t exist anymore and changing the policy is the next logical step. 

But all of that still applies if the change was to be made for next year, not having an impact on this year’s election cycle.

When policy changes affecting individuals are made in the AMS, they should be made with their successors in mind. Changing policy surrounding positions that immediately affect those who fill them means making changes that the person never agreed to, or that they stand to materially benefit from. 

If the policy change had been made to render someone ineligible to run for AMS executive instead of the other way around for instance, it would seem blatantly unfair.

It may also be true that students have turned away from applying for the job when they realized that they wouldn’t be eligible to run for AMS executive. 

It’s unfair for someone who has already guaranteed themselves one position to apply for the other, when students may have faced limitations in the same year.

The only reason this practice would change seems to be Lockridge’s own interest in a bid for AMS executive, and this sets a bad precedent for a self-serving system.

Journal Editorial Board


AMS, AMS Assembly, Editorial, Election

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