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Student Government

Through Constitutional Reform Number One.

In the first issue of this most effective publication, a certain article regarding Student Government proposed a solution to the problem of student representation, based on the idea that clubs are more legitimate constituencies than yearly classes, which were momentarily noted to be agencies both inflexible and irrationally created.

Often, the student council has suffered as a result of its unclear and unwieldy constitution, which even now seeks overly to restrict the rights of students to fair and equal representation, to liberty, to property, and to an untarnished academic life. These rights, these basic properties, must be preserved, and must be protected for the good of all Menlo's students for otherwise we might possibly sink into those twin horrors of Anarchy or Overregulation, and Infringement upon the Student Body.

Just this past week, the Student Council proposed an indirect tax without any of the accompanying procedure, and so, in this manner, the Council has strayed both from the bounds of its constitution, and from its charter, and also from its very purpose as an organization to protect students from the infringement of the Administration. Since the Student Council is a system of representation, its powers stem only from the fact that its constituents have given up a small part of their sovereign rights of self-determination to its control, in the interest of the common defense and the growth of the common good through community service and other similar ventures. In this sense, it can not and should not infringe upon the rights of the individual students any more than it has received the power to do so the Council, under the current constitution, is very easily turned to such corruption. As many have said, "Power corrupts, and Absolute Power corrupts Absolutely."

In this spirit, it is necessary that a new constitution of organization be found, such that the various students might be brought together in a perpetual union, such that their council of representatives might have not only the authority to prescribe legislation for its constituents, yet limited such that it could not overstep these bounds, but also the respect of the administration, of the student body itself, of the Board of Trustees, and so on a system must be found to provide all these improvements, and that system lies in the direction that has been suggested in the first issue of The Subterranean Crusader.

And, so that the students of this school might make the correct choice, should a question of the adoption of such a better constitution be forwarded to them, I propose to write a series of papers, of which this shall be the first, in an effort to prove the utility and the efficacy of any such venture. To this end, I shall propose the following course through which I shall tend my discussion a discussion of the dangers of the "class" system so thoroughly espoused at present a reconsideration of the present constitution, and its dangers and its effects a discussion of the various organs of the proposed constitution a proof of the benefits that the proposed constitution would afford the precedents for such a change in constitutional organization, through those of nations, organizations, and other groups throughout the world and, finally, an enumeration of the personal benefits which each student shall receive through the adoption of the proposed system.

In this way, and through this course of discussion, I shall provide you with the information, the considerations, and the other data which you shall need before making such a momentous decision as this which may come within your grasp although I shall openly admit to such great bias as I have presented, in these words just past, with regard to the renovation of the present constitution, I shall endeavor, to that original end, to present the arguments both in favor of and against such an act. At times my words may be too inaccurate or imprecise to present the clearest picture either for or against, and so I ask your pardon; but perhaps, through the course of this series, you may be able to ignore my less impressive points and yet attribute the correct level of credence to the rest.

Publius II.

This page created for The Subterranean Crusader by John W. Earl. Last modified January 28, 1996.