The Student Government Association has officially finished the first draft of their constitutional rewrite. With the completion of the first draft, SGA Senate will speak and go over the changes during their first meeting Thursday, Sept. 6 at 5 p.m.
Over the summer, the SGA’s constitutional committee held five meetings in order to review and rewrite the SGA constitution. A committee composed of SGA executive members such as SGA President McKenna Stone and SGA Treasurer Matthew Keller along with judicial board members Justice Reid Renfroe and Justice Ruth Ann Reeves took to the constitution with a fine-tooth comb, changing vague wordings and creating new sections entirely.
Among the changes was the addition of a new article on finance. The article will add spending and a new fee advisory committee to the budgets section. Before the addition, SGA spending codes were discussed but had not been in writing.
“A lot of students don’t see university spending policies up close and aren’t too familiar with them, so we just want to make sure they see that there is something behind [spending],” Keller said in a previous interview.
Stone admitted earlier this summer that there were misuses of the SGA’s purchase card, which is a credit card specifically used for SGA spending, but she believed there was no misconduct. The strict rules on who may obtain the p-card will be in writing, barring anyone who is not an executive member of the SGA.
Not only did they add a section on spending, but they also added an article in the Senate bylaws to impeach senators. Currently, there is no process by which a senator is impeached from duty, which means they have no way to be held accountable for misconduct.
With the reorganization, comes the merging of schools. The committee worked to change how the Senate represents schools new and old. The new system SGA Vice President Corai Jackson proposed will have a senator to represent each individual school within the various colleges, leaving them with three fewer senators to be filled with senators representing the campus at large.
“This [new reorganization] means that each student is insured representation by at least campus at large, but also by their representation in their school and if not in their school, in their college,” Stone said.
Within the Election Code, the committee agreed the Attorney General should not be allowed to endorse candidates in the same way the election commissioner is barred.
Election commissioner Katie Rogers said there would be a conflict of interest with not only with her office but also with the Attorney General if they were to endorse a candidate because recall elections and appeals could be skewed by favor. She went as far as to extend this barring of endorsement to the whole Judicial Board.
They also found the need for a brand-new code of ethics being writing by Attorney General Lauren- Hunter Gaudet in association with the other members of the committee.
During the meetings, Senate President Pro Tempore Caroline Carney also proposed the addition of the SGA contract to the Senate bylaws.
Among the larger additions, smaller additions and clarifications were made. One such addition is the new sub-branch Varsity. Varsity is a new way for students to volunteer for events ran by the SGA.
With the completion of the drafting process, the committee waits for a response from the SGA Senate, which will take one week to introduce the changes and another to vote upon them.
After the voting can be completed, the new constitution will be open to the eyes of students and be voted on during homecoming elections.