By Jonathan Smith, Editor in Chief
Students overwhelmingly voted to ratify the new constitution for the Students’ Association Congress during voting Tuesday and Wednesday.
Only 168 students cast votes in the constitutional election, with 157 voting in favor of the new document, which well surpassed the majority vote required for ratification.
The vote totals represented less than 4 percent of the student body, but Melanie Booker, vice president of SA, said elections that focus on a document rather than candidates often produce a smaller turnout.
“I am glad that 168 people felt it was important enough to cast a ballot,” Booker said.
The new constitution must be put into effect within 10 days of ratification, and Congress likely will have it in place by Wednesday’s SA meeting so it can debate and potentially vote on new bylaws to correspond with the new document.
The new constitution makes several changes that affect student representation on Congress. Two seats on Congress now will be available for off-campus residential representatives. Although students living on campus have had residential representation on Congress, off-campus students previously were unrepresented in this area. The new constitution also removes the International Students Association liaison as a voting member of Congress – a move made because no other campus organization has specific voting privileges on Congress.