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Op-Ed: Response from the Senate

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On behalf of the HS Senate in all it’s glorious democratic glory, I would like to provide a statement concerning the contents of the two Flame articles on the Big Three and the Constitution, with the hopes of offering some clarification and calming any civil unrest (no riots please).

Yes, the executive team is indeed working on a rewrite of the official constitution, mostly because the previous version was… rather limited in it’s scope. The new version is aimed at achieving two things. Firstly, to clearly emphasize the purpose of the Senate as a service to the student community, as well as outlining the responsibilities and roles of the respective internal committees.

Secondly, the executive team hopes to construct a more efficient officer system that will be able to better guide the Senate body and achieve the tasks that have been assigned us by the people. It should be noted that the goal was never to upset the delicate power balance of the Senate hierarchy, and any totalitarian coup attempts are purely accidental.*

The Senate, as ever, humbly submits to the ideals of democratic freedom, freedom of expression and the expression of democracy. That being said, any statement about the organization taking on autocratic or oligarchical properties should be viewed as pure speculation, and the Senate would like to stress that it’s core purpose as a tool for the student body remains as it is.

In terms of transparency, the executives would like to clarify that any secrecy surrounding senate activity is simply due to the fact that we are not done with the writing. Would you hand in an unfinished draft? No, of course not. All will be revealed in good time, and the Senate would like to call on all interested parties to remain patient while the constitution is proposed to the rest of the Senate body, refined, proposed again, signed and finally made public.

The executive team offers no comments regarding the interpretation of the ‘preliminary draft’ that was so generously supplied to the Flame by our beloved, generous President. Keep trying though 🙂

Jonas Fiebrantz, Chief Executive Student Representative of the HS Senate

*The Senate is in no way liable for any damages to property, loss of grades and/or academic recuperation in relation to a dictatorial (or otherwise) takeover.

 

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One Response to “Op-Ed: Response from the Senate”

  1. Mr. Gerdes on February 12th, 2015 11:50 am

    As a teacher at UNIS, and American, and an avid admirer of The Flame I would like to contribute the following comparison of the constitutional secrecy of the UNIS Senate with that of the Constitutional Convention of the United States.

    Delegates from around the 13 American colonies in 1787 were called upon to meet in Philadelphia to create a new constitution after the first one failed. They created the one used still today. Some of the delegates included were famous individuals like Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. While there debates and musings lasted for several months, many newspapers were clamoring and crying out for real time information and greater transparency. One of the main conditions of attending the conference was that all delegates were forced to swear secrecy. Newspapers continuously pressured and regional politicians tried to stir things up by calling the whole process aristocratic and oligarchic. The logic of insisting on secrecy until all issues were debated, completed, and the convention closed made sense, however. Imagine what would happen if delegates gave weekly summaries of the ongoing debates. Newspapers would instantly debate the issues and politicians would take sides. This would paralyze the convention or at least would drag it out indefinitely, rendering it impotent. Furthermore, since the delegates were selected by each colony it was felt that the process of re-writing the constitution was democratic enough and for the good of the country. Overall few can today argue with the results of the convention.

    Take what you’d like in drawing comparisons with the UNIS Senate. The similarities, however, are compelling.

    [Reply]

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Op-Ed: Response from the Senate