College Council (CC) is in the process of creating a new legislative liaison position to increase communication between the legislative and executive branches after some legislators said they felt “out of sync” with CC’s executive board, according to CC Vice President Hemal Prasad (19C). The legislature must approve the proposal in its meeting next week in order to finalize the role.
“We’ve heard a lot of complaints that the legislative and the executive bodies of this council haven’t exactly been in sync many times,” Prasad said at CC’s Nov. 7 meeting, adding that legislators expressed they felt that “sometimes the exec feels above the legislature.”
CC Sophomore Legislator Lyndsee Garbee (21C) said she felt that executive board members always treat legislators “like equals,” but agreed that there could be increased communication between the two branches.
“Sometimes things will happen, and I don’t know about it until I find it in the Wheel,” Garbee said. “[Legislators and executives] are on the same playing field but for some reason, some information isn’t being communicated [within] CC.”
Garbee cited the $4,000 transfer from CC to BBA Council as a procedure that legislators were not aware of.
“It’s exec funding … so technically legislators don’t need to know about it, but it was still frustrating for me to find out about it, not from the source,” Garbee said. “I feel like because I’m on [CC] I should know in real time, and yet I have to wait … I read [it in] the Wheel.”
CC passed bill 63CC2 during its Nov. 14 meeting, amending the CC Constitution to create an elected legislative liaison. According to the bill, the liaison will “represent the voice of all legislators to the executive board.” The bill passed unanimously with 14 votes in favor.
A liaison will be elected by legislators every Fall and will serve until the end of each legislative session, according to the bill. If no candidate wins a majority of the vote, the two candidates with the most votes face each other in a runoff election.
CC co-Chief of Staff Jacob Hicks (18Ox, 20C) co-sponsored the bill with CC Co-Chief of Staff Julian Pradeep (19C) after they discussed the issue with legislators during CC’s Nov. 7 meeting.
Hicks said the liaison will attend CC’s Monday night executive meetings and be “in the room [with executive board members and be] able to speak on behalf of all the other legislators,” adding that the liaison will be responsible for communicating executive discussions to legislators.
Hicks said that during CC’s Nov. 14 meeting, the executive board had not received any complaints about its relationship with legislators, contradicting Prasad’s earlier statements at CC’s Nov. 7 meeting that executive board members had received complaints.
“We didn’t have anyone come to us with complaints,” Hicks said. “It’s more of a proactive measure than a reactionary measure.”
Pradeep said the liaison would give legislators a voice within executive board meetings, but noted that the liaison would not have voting rights within the executive board.
“We wanted to give a little more power to legislators,” Pradeep said. “[The liaison would] give a legislature opinion when important [to the executive board].”
Because the bill amends the CC Constitution, it must be passed by a two-thirds vote twice before taking effect. CC is expected to vote on the bill again during its Nov. 28 meeting. Hicks said if the bill passes, legislators could vote on a liaison to serve the remainder of the legislative session as early as during CC’s Dec. 5 meeting.
CC Freshman Legislator Brad Bennett (22C) said he felt that executives and legislators have different jobs, but they have always worked together to achieve CC’s common goals.
“I’ve only felt supported by the [executive] board … they’ve been a great resource for me,” Bennett told the Wheel.
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