EDITORIAL, LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Letter to the Editor: How Should Our Government Work?

Recently, the Executive Branch of HUSA requested that the Policy Board review a section of the HUSA Constitution for the purpose of determining whether the Executive Branch has the constitutional responsibility to approve school and college council budgets. Their argument stems from the obligations of the U.S. Congress. Because they have remanded this decision to the policy board, all local school and college council spending was halted for a period of time, causing great distress amongst the 13 schools and colleges affected, and a lack of resources for individual school/college pageants.

Following this logic, the Executive Branch has a valid case. It’s too bad that we’re not the U.S. Government.

The type of government that we desire should be one that actively and effectively represents every section of Howard University’s multifaceted student body, not one that copies a currently (pseudo-) functioning one. We can’t continue to model our university after a system that does not reflect our culture the dynamic of our university.

As President of the School of Communications, I disagree with the Executive Branch of HUSA on the following bases:

  1. The HUSA Constitution clearly outlines the role of the Executive Branch of HUSA, and the approval of school and college council budgets is not one of them. (Article III, § 1, Clause A)
  2. Local School & College Councils operate independently from the Executive Branch in every other facet of governance.
  3. If the Policy Board grants the Executive Branch of HUSA to approve, veto, or stall the budgets presented by local school and colleges, it would set a precedent in which the operation of Local School & College Councils would be virtually subject to the Executive Branch of HUSA, and no longer to that school’s/college’s council’s elected Executive Board.

There are projects that I have tried to implement in the School of Communications since taking office. Because I cannot access my constitutionalized allocations, these projects have not come to fruition. If the policy board decides in the affirmative, the role of the Executive Branch will be extended a power that it has not exercised nor made qualms about in recent history. If they are extended this power, I believe that said power go to a vote, and a change be made to our constitution. I urge you, students of Howard, let’s test how strong our democracy is.

As the body of council presidents, we trust that HUSA Executives are willing to serve students to achieve the goals of its office. However, we cannot stay silent about this, as we feel this power oversteps the bounds of that office.

Once again, students of Howard: Should the Executive Branch of HUSA have the sole authority to approve council budgets?

Signed,

Zachary Johnson, Executive President of School of Communications Council

Olivia Hurt, Executive President of College of Arts and Sciences Council

Lawrence Williams, Executive President of School of Business Council

Ashley Grey, Executive President of College of Nursing and Allied Health Sciences Council

Maci Joseph, Executive President of College of Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences Council

Krystal Jacobs, Executive President of School of Education Council

October 17, 2016