ASUCD Court Case 23

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This ASUCD Court case had a majority opinion of three members and a concurrent opinion of three members. This means that verdict was the same but the reasoning was different. The verdict therefore was still unanimous and binding. Being evenly split, the "majority opinion" was simply the one the Chief Justice was on.

  1. Majority Opinion
  2. Concurrent Opinion

Majority Opinion

The ASUCD Court

CASE # 23 Ahmed-Falol & Smith vs. Henry et al.

Before: Justices Fricke, Johnson, Konz, Parker, Shahabi, Zheng

OPINION COURT ORDER — CASE # 23

MAJORITY OPINION (Fricke, Johnson, Shahabi)

In ASUCD Student Court Case # 23, we are faced with the claim that Commissioners of the Internal Affairs Commission (IAC) were unfairly replaced. The investigation as to why this occurred and how it could be avoided in the future required review of the policies and behaviours of a number of ASUCD bodies.

1. THE TERMS OF PLAINTIFFS AHMED-FALOL & SMITH
Both Plaintiffs were interviewed in the Spring of 2003 for positions on the Internal Affairs Commission. They were not ever told that they would need to re-interview in Fall, nor did they have access to accurate rosters until it was too late.
The Defence brought up the existence of a "glass case," in which Commission members can check the status of their terms. Commissioners are rarely if ever told to check this case, or even that it exists. Commission members have no reason to expect the case to exist and could easily go an entire term without walking past the "glass box" in question. Additionally, as accurate IAC rosters did not exist until immediately prior to the re-interviewing deadline, checking this "glass box" would not have done the Plaintiffs any benefit.

On "member selection," the ASUCD Standing Rules in Chapter Two, section 5.2.1 have this to say:

Neither Plaintiff was ever an alternate. They were interviewed through the "recruitment process" and placed directly into commissioner positions. There is nothing that says someone who was never an alternate would fulfill the remainder of someone's term.

Not only were the Plaintiff's not told that they would have to re-interview, but there was no reason for them to expect that their terms were about to end, even if they were completely aware of all relevant bylaws.

2. COMMISSION CHAIRS ASUCD Standing Rule Two, section 4.1.1, lists as the fourth of six duties enumerated upon Commission Chairpersons "informing each individual Commission member of the status of their term."
Clearly, the Plaintiffs had not been informed of the status of their terms.
Internal Affairs Commission Chairman Defendant Robert Gill did not have the necessary accurate rosters from the Student Government Administrative Office (SGAO) until it was too late. Ethnic And Cultural Affairs Commission (ECAC) Chairwoman Pamela Palpallatoc testified that during her tenure as ECAC Chair she has never once been given a correct roster from SGAO.
Testimony by the Chairs of IAC and ECAC indicates that they received little training and were not made aware of their duty to inform Commission members of their terms. While it is necessary to hold government officers to being aware of their duties, one can expect them to expect their training to be exhaustive of their important duties. Training must include all enumerated duties, or clear instruction on where to find them; one cannot realistically expect Chairpersons to peruse the entirety of the bylaws in hopes of finding duties.
The Commission Chairs therefore have done everything that could be reasonably expected of them in this situation.

3. THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE
The SGAO apparently has been completely unable to provide Commissions with accurate rosters of information on the terms of Commission members. This problem is so pervasive it cannot continue to be ignored.
The SGAO must re-evaluate the process by which it records information about new Commission members and reports it to Commission Chairs.
If the SGAO lacks the staff or resources to do this better than they currently do, it is imperative that changes be made so that SGAO can sufficiently serve ASUCD.

CONCLUSION
We find no reason to believe the Plaintiff's were not serving normal year-long terms. Unfortunately new Commission Members were hired bringing the total number of members of IAC over the maximum number of nine. This is an unacceptable occurrence, therefore we shall not overrule the government's insistence that the Plaintiffs must no longer be on the commission.
The situation is highly unfortunate but all we can do is do our utmost to see that it never occurs again.

Wherefore, the Student Court having taken all of the facts into consideration, it is hereby

RECOMMENDED, that the Senate consider rewording Standing Rule Two, section 5.2.1 ("member selection");

ORDERED, that Chairperson training henceforth include all duties the Chairpersons may be formally held accountable for;

ORDERED, that a representative of the SGAO report to the Senate no later than the Senate meeting of 02/05/04 on relevant ways they've improved their policies on recording and reporting accurately on Commission membership; and it is further;

ORDERED, that the Business and Finance Commission formally investigate the workload of SGAO to ensure it can sufficiently handle the tasks of the three branches of government and make recommendations at the Senate meeting of 02/05/04 or report on progress of the investigation with aims to report again within two weeks, until conclusive recommendations can be made.

Concurrent Opinion

The ASUCD Court

CASE # 23 Ahmed-Falol & Smith vs. Henry et al.

Before: Justices Fricke, Johnson, Konz, Parker, Shahabi, Zheng

OPINION COURT ORDER — CASE # 23

CONCURRENT OPINION (Zheng, Konz, Parker)

Although the ASUCD Standing Rules do not specify whether or not an individual who was never an alternate member would fulfill the remainder of a vacated member's term, in normal circumstances when alternate members are present in commissions, they will fulfill the remainder of a vacated member's term. Alternate members will serve the function of fulfilling the remainder of the vacated member's term. Alternate members will also be moved up in rank accordingly.
In the event that no alternate members are present to serve that function, new members will be recruited to serve the function of fulfilling the remainder of the vacated member's term. Newly recruited members are 1) essentially serving the same function as alternate members would, and 2) moved up rank accordingly as alternate members would have.

Wherefore, the Student Court having taken all of the facts into consideration, it is hereby

RECOMMENDED, that the Senate consider rewording Standing Rule Two, section 5.2.1 ("member selection");

ORDERED, that Chairperson training henceforth include all duties the Chairpersons may be formally held accountable for;

ORDERED, that a representative of the SGAO report to the Senate no later than the Senate meeting of 02/05/04 on relevant ways they've improved their policies on recording and reporting accurately on Commission membership; and it is further

ORDERED, that the Business and Finance Commission formally investigate the workload of SGAO to ensure it can sufficiently handle the tasks of the three branches of government and make recommendations at the Senate meeting of 02/05/04 or report on progress of the investigation with aims to report again within two weeks, until conclusive recommendations can be made;

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