Judiciary hearing rescheduled for a second time

February 8, 2019

The Judiciary hearing has been rescheduled for a second time due to cancellations from the Executive Board (E-Board) Party, according to Chief Justice Morris Nadjar ’19. The new date for the hearing has not been set but will be after the Brandeis February break.

The hearing was originally set for Sunday, Jan. 27 but had to be rescheduled after Chief Justice Gabriella (Gaby) Gonzalez Anavisca ’19 resigned for personal reasons. The Judiciary then elected Morris Nadjar ’19 as the new Chief Justice on Jan. 28. After the election, the hearing was set for Sunday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. but was rescheduled again.

The E-Board party members had some “last minute conflicts” but didn’t specify why they could not attend, according to an email to The Brandeis Hoot from Nadjar.

The Judiciary case will decide on four claims: If the Student Union is a club as defined by the Constitution, or a governing body for clubs and organizations; if the Allocations Board (A-Board) can fund the Union; if the Union is guaranteed all of its benchmark funding goal of $50,000; and if the term “benchmark” as it appears in the Constitution refers to a minimum funding amount or a funding goal.

Initially, Nadjar hoped that the case would move quickly and transparently to resolve the growing contention between the A-Board and the E-Board of the Union. “Animosity is growing between the Union,” Morris said in an earlier interview with The Brandeis Hoot.

“We want to be as transparent as possible,” Morris said of the judicial hearing process in an earlier article. “We want to make sure also that the university has precedent and that we understand the Student Union’s place now and for future generations to avoid these kinds of conflict.”

The case would resolve the question of A-Board powers in the union and define what, if not the A-Board, would provide a funding mechanism for the Union government. The Judiciary is expected to interpret the Constitution to decide the four claims.

The Constitution as it stands refers to the word “benchmark” in Section 2 Article 1-1 when describing the Union Government Fund, saying, “[The] Union Government Fund… shall fund the affairs and operations of the Union and shall be distributed to the Union Government. A benchmark for this fund shall be $50,000.”

The A-Board is defined by the Student Union Constitution Article 5 Section 1 as, “The Allocations Board shall establish the budgets from the Student Activities Fund for Chartered and Secured Clubs in accordance with this Constitution and its Bylaws, and shall publish their allocations each funding period, henceforth referred to as a marathon, to the Student Union and to the student body.”

The case, when it is heard by the Judiciary, will involve presentations from members of the E-Board, specifically three petitioners, Student Union President Hannah Brown ’19, Chief of Staff Emma Russell ’19 and Vice President Aaron Finkel ’20 and presentations from the A-Board.

When it is decided, the case will establish precedent for future cases involving constitutional interpretations of the A-Board and E-Board’s powers in the Union.

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