Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Thursday, May 24, 2018

SG allows student vote on new constitution

The Student Government Senate bypassed the Judicial Board’s rules on Dec. 2, declaring that the student body would vote on the new constitution Feb. 5 and 6, regardless of previous rules requiring two-thirds of the student body to vote.

The Elections Reform Bill, passed Nov. 18, removed the Judicial Board’s and the Board of Election’s policy that required 10 percent of the student body to sign a petition approving the Senate’s decision to hold a vote, 2013 Sen. Eric Reath said.

“I personally am not the biggest fan of the current paper petition process,” Chloé Profit, chair of the Board of Elections said. “It is a lot of work for both the petitioners and the board. The BOE is looking into ways to create an online petition that will make the process easier.”

Now, the Senate will be able to present the Student Association to the undergraduate student body through a vote, according to Reath.

“I knew as soon as we got all of the red tape out of the way, we would have a shot at this,” Reath said. “We are breaking down all of these artificial political barriers that essentially just create conflict for the sake of conflict.”

The purpose of the new constitution is to restructure SG so there is less bureaucracy and more student advocacy, according to 2013 Sen. Brett Atanasio.

Currently, SG is divided into the judicial, executive and legislative branches. The executive branch is divided into:

• president, who is in charge of advocacy,

• vice president, who is in charge of programming,

• comptroller, who is in charge of finance

• and a secretary, who is in charge of communications.

The Student Association would divide the executive board into four vice president positions, which would include advocacy, programming, finance and communications. The president would then oversee the vice presidents.

The Undergraduate Senate and Judicial Board would be replaced by a Board of Representatives, which would serve an advisory role in the Student Association.

“I think the best analogy is like a board of directors in a not-for-profit working with the CEO of the organization,” SG Senate Speaker Joe Wisniewski said.

There would also be an Executive Committee made up of members from both boards.

“This new fundamental change will allow us to advocate on the behalf of the students,” Reath said. “It is going to change how we work as a student government organization.”

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