A-3 Assembly Elections and Proposed Next Steps

September 16, 1997

Seven members of the A-3 staff have been elected to the executive board of the A-3 Assembly. They are:

Donna Arthur, Career Planning, Law

John Hogan, Biddle Law Library

Stephanie Knox, Restorative Dentistry

Keith Martin, College of General Studies

Denise Miller, College of General Studies

Loretta Miller, Student Information

Debra Smiley-Koita, Career Planning &



In a letter notifying the members of their election, Professor Howard Lesnick gave the following information on the conduct of the election and the next steps expected in the process:

(Salutation to the seven named)

I am happy to advise you that you have been duly elected to membership on the A-3 Assembly Executive Board. Despite the the intermitent downpours during the hours of balloting, and the fact that there were more vacancies than candidates, 30 A-3's cast ballots.

It is up to you to arrange a time and place to meet one another and set up shop. I suggest that one of you take the initiative to contact the others with a couple of possible times to meet.

You have two matters to which you probably will need to give prompt attention. First, you may elect a representative to the University Council, who can, but need not, be one of you. If you do this in time for the September meeting of Council, the Steering Committee would probably be pleased, but I do not think that this is essential. I suggest that you consider discussing the question of timing with Vivian Seltzer, who is Chair of the Steering Committee.

Second, one of your number, John Hogan, was elected but may not be eligible for membership, since he is a member of a union-represented bargaining unit. In my opinion, this question is for you-and no one else-to decide. You may in your discretion invite Mr. Hogan to sit with you while the question of his eligibility to be a full voting member is determined.

A longer-range question is the suitability of the Constitution that you have inherited. Under the Constitution-I can send you copies if you wish-the Executive Board can amend it by a vote of two-thirds of the voting membership. Recent experience has exposed a number of rules in it, drafted long ago, that may not be workable for an organization like yours. This too is for you alone to decide. If you invite it, I would be happy to explain why I am raising the question with you.

In that connection, please understand that I-along with Jeanne Arnold, Larry Gross, and Alex Welte-have been involved with your organization solely at the invitation of the Steering Committee Chair, because the expiration of the terms of most, or all, of the incumbent Board members left the Assembly unable to choose a representative to the Council. We have no authority to make rulings on any question. We were commissioned to go ahead and schedule this election out of necessity. In our view-and it is only that, our view-the legitimacy of what we have done depends on the legitimacy of the procedure we adopted and followed. We did not choose any of you to run, and did not of course participate in the vote itself. If the community believes that the procedure was fair and democratic, your legitimacy will be widely (even if not unanimously) accepted. If you choose to ask my advice about anything, I will gladly give it if I have any, but you need not do this at all.

Now that you are in office, I hope that the entire community-including those writing for or in the campus press-will move on from recriminations over past events to enthusiastic support for you and the Assembly. The true "story," and a great benefit to the University it is, is your willingness to serve. Best of luck.

- Howard Lesnick, Professor of Law