Trujillo demands veto, bicameral ASUA system

By Joseph Altman Jr.

Arizona Daily Wildcat

ASUA President T.J. Trujillo said the current legislative system "sucks" after Wednesday night's Undergraduate Senate meeting.

In a speech to senators, Trujillo said he wants the Associated Students of the University of Arizona to change its structure to a bicameral or unicameral legislature, but he was not specific regarding what should be done to do so.

Currently, two legislative bodies, the Undergraduate Senate and the Graduate and Professional Student Council, take action on legislative matters. However, the Central Coordinating Council, which includes three members of each lawmaking body as well as ASUA executive officers, can also pass legislation if the two bodies do not agree.

Trujillo said the system is inefficient. He said he wants to see "a true bicameral system that will give the president a veto. However it's set up, I don't care, but somehow it needs to be set up."

Trujillo said to the senators, "The system we have doesn't allow you to make true decisions, and somehow, that needs to be taken care of.

"Right now I'm deciding on your issues for you and handing them to you point blank. I've decided on parking; I've decided on garages; I've decided on child care; I've decided on spirit money, and I think being the student government, you (senators) need to make those decisions about the issues yourself," he said.

Undergraduate Sen. Rhonda Wilson said the current system does have some problems, but it is not "hopeless."

"There are flaws in the constitution that we need to take care of," Wilson said. "Procedures need to be more well defined. There are too many ambiguities."

Senate Chairman Brad Milligan said he doesn't understand what Trujillo means by a "true bicameral" system, since that would make it difficult to settle disputes between the senate and the Graduate and Professional Student Council.

"Eliminating CCC is a great idea. CCC is kind of useless except in one function to settle disputes between the bodies," Milligan said.

"What happens if we have one legislative body in favor (of a proposal) and one against? There (would be) no chain to resolve the dispute," he said.

Wilson also said CCC allows all branches of ASUA to inform the others of what is going on.

However, Milligan said that is also taken care of in executive committees, and the existence of three bodies has caused past confusion regarding how they perform functions such as the confirmation of appointments.

He said considerable constitutional amendments will be needed if ASUA's structure will change.

"It's going to have to go through both branches with a two-thirds majority, and (Trujillo) has to be able to get both legislative branches to give up some of their power and give it to him," Milligan said. "In any system, that's a difficult thing to do."

Sen. Jennifer Haber asked Trujillo how changes to ASUA's structure could be implemented after elections are held.

Trujillo said, "That'll be a political game for you to take on."

Milligan said that the current system will have to be used for the remainder of this year and the 1995-96 academic year.

"It's a sizeable effort," Milligan said. "It's going to take awhile."

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