On Wednesday, Student Government Association passed four resolutions regarding elections and another regarding constitutional amendments in its first-ever Constitutional Convention.
C.R. 95.33 formally called for the implementation of the new constitution, which called for a restructuring of SGA and the creation of a judicial branch called the Judicial Board. The resolution passed unanimously after about 30 minutes of discussion.
Ty Kelley, executive president, said the executive cabinet found it necessary to have an unbiased body within the elections and voting process. Previously, the president and cabinet were the residing authoritative body over elections.
The board will consist of two associate justices and one chief justice, and all terms, powers and responsibilities will be established in the bylaws.
Justices will be appointed by the SGA president, and the Senate will confirm them by a two-thirds majority. Board appointments are irrevocable except in cases of misconduct. Kelley said the executive cabinet prefers that board members are appointed during their freshman year and serve until graduation, but can be any classification..
Also, justices will serve on the Disciplinary Review Board in case a student gets kicked out of the university for a disciplinary inflection, and review legislation that might be unconstitutional.
In addition, juniors will now be able to run for president and vice president so they have the possibility of serving consecutive terms.
Congress will now be called the Senate, and each class will have 10 representatives open to any student of no particular area of campus, specific dorm nor college. Each class will also have a president and vice president as well as a multicultural representative. Kelley said the roles and responsibilities are the same.
“We felt like it was necessary and about time we made a sweeping change that helped clarify everything,” Kelley said. “Obviously there’s problems that we probably missed but for the most part, I feel like we made huge progress.”
The other four resolutions: C.R. 95.29: Election committee membership, C.R. 95.30: Election Terms Clarification, C.R. 95.31: Election Rules Reference Disambiguation and C.R. 95.32: Election Rules Simplification deal with cleaning up the structure of the document and helping clarify certain areas.
“The goal of that was to prevent loopholes, but also to just hold candidates accountable and make sure that everyone is playing on the same playing field,” Kelley said.
The problems became prevalent to him when he and Rachel Jones, executive vice president, were running for office. As different problems would arise during campaigning, Kelley said he would notice inconsistencies that needed to be addressed.
“The biggest thing I wanted from tonight was for there to be discussion because when you’re making a change this big, and especially when you’re about to present to the student body, obviously, we don’t want to make fools of ourselves and we don’t want to present something that’s not complete,” Kelley said.
The SGA Internal Affairs Committee, as well as Kevin Shurtz, chief financial officer, took over three months to propose the changes.
“I’m really glad that our congress is involved,” Kelley said. “I’m glad that they care about these things.”