Ruthie Braunstein/The Hoya Constitutional Council Chair Chris Ray (SFS ’01) led the Friday meeting that decided three complaints.. In a unanimous decision, the GUSA Constitutional Council ruled Friday that 25 percent of the undergraduate student body must vote for the proposed Yard Student Association constitution in order for it to replace GUSA as Georgetown University’s student government.

The referendum must now receive approximately 1625 votes, and those votes must also be the majority in the referendum.

The council also ruled unanimously that the Yard’s petition to repeal the GUSA Constitution through the form of one large amendment is valid.

In the decision, Constitutional Councilor Bill McGonigle (COL ’03) said, “This attempt follows all of the guidelines set forth in the constitution, which is not a concrete and unchangeable document. The success of a constitutional government lies in the ability to change itself through the right and just means.”

The council also ruled that Yard supporters can change their constitution up until 14 days before it is voted upon by the student body without obtaining a separate petition.

“Making these decisions was not an easy task,” cGonigle said. “A lot of discussion took place inside and outside the room, and we put a great deal of thought into them.”

The decisions were made following a special Constitutional Council meeting where Andrew Katz (COL ’01) and Aaron Polkey (COL ’02) presented three formal complaints against the Yard petition.

Constitutional Councilor William Schlickenmaier (SFS ’01) said that because of the ambiguity of the GUSA Constitution, it could be interpreted either way.

“It appeared to us, especially after hearing from one of the framers, that the Yard’s argument . didn’t hold up,” he said.

Polkey, spokesman for Students Against the Yard, said he was pleased with the Council’s decision.

“I think it’s good that [the referendum] is not on the 26th because if it would have been, the document would not be the best document possible . the students deserve to vote on the best document possible, rather than one that only a few people agree on.”

In Thursday’s Council meeting, Katz and Nate Willems (SFS ’01) of the Yard steering committee debated whether or not the Yard proposal circumvented the GUSA constitutional amendment process by repealing the entire institution and substituting it with the Yard constitution. Katz said the GUSA Constitution requires specific amendments be made to existing text, not entire substitutions.

Because of agreement with the Constitutional Council’s rulings, Wesley Cross (SFS ’03) announced he is no longer considering filing a lawsuit against GUSA and Georgetown University.

“I talked with people from the Yard, and they requested that I lay low because they were really trying to compromise with GUSA,” Cross said. “But I agree with the Constitutional Council that it is what is best for the student body . it also might clarify future processes with the GUSA constitution and they’ll know how to handle it better.”

Schlikenmaier said the Constitutional Council made their decision before hearing of the possible lawsuit.

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