The Government of the Student Body has replaced its “Connecting with Constituents” policy after less than a year of existence.
The Connecting with Constituents policy which called for GSB senators to meet with a club or organization once a month has been replaced by a new policy called “Outreach ISU”.
Outreach ISU, which is a point system, was modeled after a similar policy the University of Kansas Student Senate uses. Under the point system senators are required to achieve a total of 100 points from their inauguration in April till the end of the first semester in December, and 70 points during the second semester session.
According to the bill’s author, Zachary Bauer, senators can gain points from attending GSB meetings, attending their office hours, meeting with clubs and organizations, going to government events like “Meet Your Senator Day” and being a primary author on a piece of legislation.
“We heard a lot of dissatisfaction with Connecting with Constituents from senators, but we still need a way to keep senators accountable at times,” said Senator Dan Rediske.
This policy change was met with opposition from Senator Alex Knee who pointed to the idea that senators were being awarded points for doing their duty.
“We are awarding points for every little duty a senator has,” Knee said. “I understand we are trying to improve, however my main problem is that basically we’ll have senators spending way too much time worrying about their points.”
Knee also questioned some areas that were not clearly defined under the point system. Knee gave the example of his constituency base, which is Frederiksen Court, saying how he had worked on projects for Frederiksen Court and pointed out how his work fell under a gray area of the new policy.
Bauer stated that these types of activities that fell in that gray area would be up to the discretion of the GSB public relations chair.
Under the new policy if a senator were not to reach the required point total, there was the possibility the senator could be impeached.