| 03.17.2018

Second chance for redistricting – The future of redistricting reemerged at this week”s ASUI senate meeting


ASUI”S redistricting resolution, which failed at last week”s senate meeting, had another shot at success due to procedural error Wednesday.

ASUI Vice President Stetson Holman did not cast a vote at last week”s meeting. According to parliamentary procedure, he is, in fact, allowed to cast a vote in order to break a tie, as was the case last week.

Following an impassioned discussion that took up much of Wednesday”s senate meeting, the resolution passed 8-4, including one “hell yes” from ASUI Sen. Kate Ricart.

“I would really like to see us start moving toward something more representative that a lot of our faculty and students are really excited about,” Ricart said.

The resolution was once again met with opposition from some, including Sen. Tanner Beymer.

“From my own perspective, it is not our job to force students through the door, it”s our job to make sure the door is open,” Beymer said. “This resolution may cap the number of students who can run for senate from each college and create a barrier to entry.”

Beymer said it is important to remember this is a resolution and not a bill, thus it currently carries no legislative authority.

“It says what ASUI now intends to do,” Beymer said. “Whether or not that happens will be determined in bill form, hopefully before my term expires.”

Though Beymer said he opposed this resolution, the majority has spoken and he is excited to work further on the details of the document.

ASUI Vice President Stetson Holman said he is happy to see the resolution pass since it was one of the issues he campaigned on.

“If you change the districting by college, you make it so students can show leadership within their fields, speak to leaders of their college and talk to students in their classrooms,” Holman said. “This way you can write legislation about your and your peers” values who you interact with everyday.”

Holman said some of the opposition on this resolution said that there are better alternatives than districting by college. One of the proposed alternatives is voting at-large, he said.

“If we”re talking about all open seats, it becomes more of a popularity contest instead of an election,” Holman said. “You would be elected just by the sheer amount of people you know.”

Holman said this creates an intimidating environment for students, for example, in the College of Engineering or Science. He said these students may not feel like they could win elections when running against students from larger colleges such as the College of Business and the College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences.

Sen. Rachael Miller, who voted in favor of the resolution, said the next step is further discussing the best way to go about districting by colleges.

“There was a lot of debate on this topic, but ultimately I think this is the most representative for the university and best for ASUI,” Miller said. “It will create more substantive pieces of policy, more effective senators and it will encourage participation from all students on campus.”

Jessica Gee  can be reached at arg-news@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @JessicaC_Gee

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