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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Union Senate holds executive session for bribery bylaw debate

Published: April 3, 2009
Section: Front Page

The Union Senate went into executive session on Sunday, despite protests from members of the campus media, to discuss a new bylaw amendment that would effectively outlaw bribery in Union elections. The Senate chose to go into executive session in an effort to avoid negative press coverage prior to Union elections.

The bylaw amendment, which would make it illegal for candidates to give favors in exchange for support in an election, was written in response to inquiries made by The Hoot last week about whether then Presidential hopeful Andy Hogan ‘11 had offered executive board positions to potential competitors if they would not run against him.

Hogan did not deny to The Hoot last week that he offered an executive board position to one potential competitor, but said that the offer occurred before either candidate had signed up to run for President.

The bylaw amendment will be voted on this comming Sunday.

If passed, the bylaw amendment would not be able to retroactively effect Hogan or the result of this election; however, East Quad Senator Jenna Rubin ‘11, the author of the amendment and the senator who motioned for the Senate to go into executive session last Sunday, said that she was concerned that if the press was able to report upon the bylaw amendment, it would negatively effect the election.

“We went into executive session because I didn’t want the bylaw to make it into The Justice,” Rubin said.

“This bylaw is important regardless of the current situation, and I didn’t want the debate to be framed in the context of the election,” she continued.

The Justice did not report on the bylaw.

The executive session lasted approximately five minutes, however, despite an “official objection” from The Hoot on First Amendment grounds, representatives from The Hoot, The Justice, and Innermost Parts, along with one interested student, were forced to leave the Senate session while the bylaw amendment was discussed.

Class of 2011 Senator Alex Melman also left the senate meeting for the designated period of time as, what he called a “symbol of solidarity” with the press.

Rubin said that she is not planning to move to executive session for the discussion of the bylaw amendment this Sunday.