5th September 2010


PRESENT (absences indicated in italics)


Speaker, Mr. Adam Stempel (Speaker)

Chair of the Liberal Party, Miss Stephanie Seller (CLP)

Chair of the Party of the Left, Mr. Dominick Lawton (CPL)

Chairman of the Progressive Party, Mr. Nathaniel Schwalb (CPP)

Chairman of the Independent Party, Miss Shannon Connors (CIP)

Chairman of the Conservative Party, Mr. Kyle Rusciano(CCP)

Chairman of the Tory Party, Mr. Cyprien Sarteau (CTP)

Chairman of the Party of the Right, Miss Camila YaDeau (CPR)

Secretary of the YPU, Mr. Cameron Rotblat



Miss Leah Libresco

Mr. Gabriel Ellsworth

Mr. Matthew Gerken

Mr. Jeremy Weltmer


The Rules Committee meeting of the Yale Political Union held on Sunday 5th September 2010 was called to order at 4:23 pm in the YPU Office, with the Speaker, Mr. Adam Stempel, presiding.


Speaker asks whether any parts of the Union rules or constitution need to be addressed or changed.


CPR says that a change should be made moving “other announcements” to before organizational speeches. 


CTP ask whether the change is only for organizational debates.


CPR responds, “yes.”


CPP asks, “how often does this happen?”


Speaker answers that “other announcements” occurring at organizational debates happens only very occasionally.  He adds that such a change only involves a small change to a constitutional article on the YPU website.


CPL says that he does not have a strong opinion on the issue.  He wants to know what the rational for changing the article is other than “it’s confusing.”


CPR- Organization wants to call itself a YPU speech.  If some is announcing someone is trying to form a party occurs right before pres.


Speaker says that it seems everyone is on the same page, that other announcements should come before org(inizational) speeches.  He asks whether the change is “just for now or forever.”


CTP says that the “Org” Debate is fundamentally different than the other debates.  He suggests making a rule change for “Org” Debates from now on.


VP notes that reading through the rules, the president’s speech is an actually a general announcement before debate.


CPP says that it seems “kind of petty and malicious to change rule for one instance.”




Mr. Gerken says, “I don’t care about this at all.”


CTP agrees that it would be petty for one instance, and that is he supports changing it for all “Org” Debates.


Mr. Ellsworth asks where in the constitution does it say that Rules Committee can do this.


Speaker says that Rules Committee “can do almost anything.”


Speaker moves changing special rule number 1 to add a line saying, “at all Organization Debates, general announcements should come before party announcements.” 

The motion is seconded and passes without objection.


Miss Libresco says that “long, long ago” Rules Committee decided to bar abstentions on votes on Advisory Committee confirmation.  She notes it is a weird thing to place on people


CLP says that she agrees that Eboard members should be able to “vote however we want.”


CPR adds that the rule was made for petty political reasons.


Speaker asks whether there is interested in changing the rule.


Majority of the Rules Committee expresses support.


Speaker says that the current rule is that Eboard, when voting on the confirmation of Advisory Committee members, cannot abstain.


Miss Libresco says “the ‘rational’ is that Advisory Committee confirmations were so weighty, that abstentions would be almost treasonous.”


Speaker adds that the other issue was whether an abstention counted as  for” or “against” vote.


CTP says that it would still be ambiguous whether an abstention is for or against.


CPP ask what would occur if there were abstentions and an equal number of yeas and nays.


Mr. Ellsworth says, while reading the Robert’s Rules website, “In Robert’s rules the term “abstention vote” is an oxymoron.  There is no such thing as an abstention vote.  By definition abstention is not voting.”  Mr. Ellsworth further explains that an abstention vote does not matter if passing requires “a majority of votes” but abstentions do matter if passing requires “a majority of Eboard.” 


Speaker says that the rule is not clear because “Eboard was specified, but we allow abstentions for other votes on Ebaord.”


CTP says that the YPU generally requires a majority of votes.


Mr. Ellsworth says that should it ever come up again, it would be good to put explicitly “what Adcomm committee confirmation is decided by.”


Speaker moves that all matter before Eboard, unless otherwise explicitly said elsewhere; votes cast will decide the final vote count.

The motion is seconded and passes without objection.


CIP moves that the Rules Committee adjourn. 

The motion is seconded and passes without objection.


The Rules Committee meeting of the Yale Political Union was adjourned at 4:38 p.m.


Respectfully Submitted,

Cameron Ellis Rotblat

Secretary of the Yale Political Union