All-School Council recently announced its plan to revise the Marlborough Student Constitution, a document describing the mission of Marlborough’s Student Government, which includes the All-School and Class Councils and the Student Academic Advisory Committee (SAAC). It also outlines electoral procedures and requirements for students interested in running for Council.
The last time the Constitution was revised was in 2008, when a committee overseen by history and social sciences instructor Tom Millar and mathematics instructor Sandra O’Connor re-wrote the document, which had not been revised since the mid-90s.
“It was a big, big deal. We met for probably a good six months, once a week, and it took a long time,” Millar said.
Assistant Division Director and Dean of Student Life Regina Rosi said that the goal of this year’s revisions is to create a more specific and streamlined document. In order to do this, a committee of representatives from each grade led by co-All-School President Alli ’17 and All-School Secretary Mabel ’17 will read through the Constitution and propose changes. Representatives will include Gia ’22, Leah ’22, Kaelyn ’21, Joy ’21, Tara ’20, Caroline ’20, Leslie ’19, Tessa ’19, Clara ’18, Malaika ’18, Avery ’17 and Lucy ’17.
In recent years, the number of ties between students running for both All-School and Class Councils has seemed to increase, so the committee has worked to specify procedures regarding this issue, along with other Council election processes and requirements (such as the GPA requirement and the maximum number of conduct infractions a candidate can have). The new procedure in the case of a tie will be for the two candidates to participate in a town-hall style debate, and then another run off vote will be held.
Included in the revision of the Constitution, the committee will also be re-working the names of some Council positions, including Secretary and Assembly Coordinator.
Mabel said that, in addition to being an outdated term, her title does not encapsulate the actual jobs of class secretaries.
“It’s really a position about organizing the council and keeping everyone on schedule… [and] once you’re in the room with all of Council no one really has positions—you all make the decisions together—so it takes away from the position to say ‘you’re just taking notes,’” Mabel said.
Once this year’s committee has recommended changes, the draft will be submitted to the class deans to be ratified, and the committee will create an abridged version for students who do not want to read the entire document. Rosi said she is also considering holding open forums where the revisions will be presented and students can ask questions so that the process is open to all members of the community.
“It’s a constitution for the students by the students and we want to respect that,” Rosi said.