Student Government Association plans policy changes

By on March 29, 2017

The Student Government Association (SGA) is planning to reconstruct their policies during the Spring 2017 semester, according to senior journalism major and Student Body Vice President Alec Turner.

“(The committee is) working on discrepancies in our policies, there are no set changes yet but will be sometime in April,” Turner said in a statement.

Sophomore political science major and class representative Jacqueline Schmedel said SGA is working to combine the organization’s constitution, election policy and chartering policy to provide clarity and update some outdated practices.

“Our document was last updated five or six years ago, and it’s not in line with the practices that we hold today,” Schmedel said, “Essentially, what we are doing is fixing the constitution so that it matches our practice, and then in addition to that, making some extra changes to make sure we’re utilizing it to the best of our abilities.”

One of the plans the committee is thinking of implementing is to insert their mission statement to the beginning of their constitution and include a statement that addresses how students can be elected directly by the student population.

Schmedel said that the committee is also considering bringing up the idea of impeachment if members of the organization do not adhere to attending things like campus wide events, training exercises and conducting themselves in a professional manner.

“Something we want to discuss as a general board is, do we want to bring impeachment into this and sort of talk about if you don’t follow what you’re supposed to be doing and you don’t really fulfill your duties as a student government member, you should be up for impeachment,” Schmedel said.

In addition to that, the organization is looking into provisions that allow athletes to serve on student government and a change in the requirements needed to run for executive board.

Schmedel said that there is potential for changes but each idea would need a majority vote from SGA to be passed, thus so far nothing is set in stone.

The constitution is very antiquated, according to sophomore political science major and class representative Jack Onofrio. He said it is because of this that SGA has spent more time than they desired discussing internal issues on what the constitution is not clear on.

“We went back through the constitution and updated it so that it is more applicable to SGA in 2017,” Onofrio said. “Hopefully, this will allow us to be more efficient in the future and spend more time working on initiatives.”

Freshman political science major and class representative Austin Calvo said the main goals of reworking the policies is to bring it up to date, in order to make the organization run more efficiently and serve the student body better.

“One of the big things that the Constitution and Policies Ad Hoc Committee is making is allowing student athletes to more easily serve on SGA by waiving their absences to SGA-related events due to sports,” Calvo said. “This will bring a wider voice to SGA, since our goal is to be an inclusive body that represents the student voice.”

The main goal of changing the policies is to rework the constitution to bring it up to date to make the organization run more efficiently and therefore, serve the student body better.

Calvo said the fact that their main goal focuses on improving the organization will make the elected representatives’ jobs more efficient, because they will be able to cooperate better together, knowing full well of their roles and responsibilities.

“If the 41 (SGA members) are able to work together seamlessly, we can represent the student body better, and not have to waste time in internal strife and actually work on our initiatives,” Calvo said.

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