Quorum rules block Student Senate vote

The Senate was set to vote on changes to an absence policy. Now, it can’t be passed this year.

by Luke Feuerherm

The University of Minnesota Student Senate will not be able to pass an amendment to absence policies this school year because of a parliamentary dispute at their Thursday meeting. Proxy-senator Sean Niemic alerted the Senate that it was two members short of quorum, which is the minimum number of members required by a governing body to do business. There are 57 members in the UniversityâÄôs Student Senate, and a simple majority, 29, is required for quorum. Only 27 were in attendance Thursday when quorum was called. âÄúItâÄôs not appropriate for Student Senate or any legislative body to perform business if it doesnâÄôt have the quorum,âÄù Niemic said. The three amendments to the legitimate absence policy that were on the agenda aimed to expand it to include: âÄ¢ students with minor dependents âÄ¢ graduate and professional students who must attend mandatory interviews âÄ¢ student senators who have senate meetings to attend The issues were presented in senate as three separate resolutions because the Student Senate Consultative Committee hoped this would lead to a greater probably of success later in the process when the resolutions were sent to the Senate Committee of Educational Policy, said Student Senate Chair Kathy Julik-Heine. âÄúThatâÄôs in line with parliamentary procedures, so I canâÄôt really argue with that,âÄù Julik-Heine said. âÄúItâÄôs a disappointment, but itâÄôs more of a disappointment that we didnâÄôt have senators there.âÄù Niemic said that he had no intention of voting down any of the resolutions, and he only made the decision to call quorum out of respect for the rules of the Senate. âÄúThe Student Senate feels that perhaps itâÄôs too important to follow the rules,âÄù Niemic said. âÄúI donâÄôt believe in this mindset. âÄú