ASI may change articles of incorporation rules to remove student vote

Associated Students, Inc. is considering taking a power from the students’ hands and placing it in its own.

The bylaw amendment entitled “Article of Incorporation Compliance” proposes that changes to the articles of incorporation should be in the power of the Senate as opposed to the student body.

The articles of incorporation are legal documents filed with the California secretary of state, allowing an association to become incorporated, executive director of ASI Richard Haller said.

The articles list the corporation name, the primary purposes of the board of directors and what would happen if the corporation is ever dissolved.

ASI’s bylaws state that if a change to the articles of incorporation is needed, a two-thirds vote must be approved by the student body.

“Because the articles are a legal document and they are written in compliance with the law, if the law changes and suddenly you need to include something in your articles, you really don’t have a choice,” Haller said. “Why put that up to a vote of a membership when they really don’t have a choice whether or not to obey the law?”

Haller told ASI at a Senate meeting about instances where the articles of incorporation have been out of compliance with the law due to the vote with the student body.

One example was a law change in 1982 about what happens when a corporation quits. The dissolution clause previously read, “Upon dissolution of this corporation, net assets other than trust funds shall be distributed to one of more nonprofit corporations organized and operated for the benefit of CSULB.”

In 1982, the law changed to require that assets be distributed to a successor approved by the president of the campus and board of trustees. Haller said that the actual change to the articles of incorporation took place in 2002, meaning the articles were out of compliance with the law for 20 years.

Votes to change the articles of incorporation occur at the same time of general election of senators for the ASI Senate. If the amendment passes, ASI will be able to change them without a student vote.

The Bylaw Amendment has passed its first reading. If it passes its third reading, it will be enacted.

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