Jessica Branks, News Writer • email@example.com
“Last year, the Senate passed Senate Bill #423 which proposed an amendment to the SGA [Student Government Association] Constitution,” read an email from the Dean of Students Kyle Cutshaw on September 19. The bill specifically proposed amendments to the number of representatives in the Senate, and how the districts are organized. The bill was signed by the current SGA President Jordan Smith on August 27, right before this year’s Senate elections.
Former Senator Joseph Johnson said “the SGA has always, excepting this year, used locality, that is districts by residence halls, while the new system uses districts by age.” Because this bill was signed by Student Body President Jordan Smith before this year’s elections took place, the new districting system was applied. The amendments would also expand the size of the Senate to 20 seats.
However, there is some debate about whether this was an appropriate way to enact and apply this amendment. There are several steps that must be taken to fully ratify an amendment to the SGA Constitution, including a majority vote from faculty representatives, a student body referendum, and approval from College President Jake Schrum. Although this process has not fully run its course on the proposed amendments, the policies put forward in them are already in effect.
Joseph Johnson expressed some concern with the way that the SGA went about putting these amendments in place. He remarked, “unfortunately this government has decided, in its hubris, to make the decision on how we district without consulting the student body.”
In contrast Sophomore Senator Orlando Martinez said, “I think it was a smart move to let the bill take effect.” He went on to say “this election brought so much more attention to issues on campus that I believe can be tackled so much more effectively when every class has an equal say.”
The student Referendum on the issue opened on September 19 and will continue through the 21.
According to the email from Kyle Cutshaw to the Student Body, “if the referendum passes and President Schrum approves the amendment, Senate applications will open for first-year, second-year, third-year and fourth-year residential students for a special election. Special Senate Elections would then be held from Friday, September 19 until Tuesday October 3.”