By Nathan Valdes
Proposed changes to the current Student Government Association (SGA) constitution could not grasp the two thirds majority vote needed from the forum members in order to pass the notion on Oct. 30.
Some of the issues brought up were about the changing of vice president positions from elected offices to be appointed via an application process. Throughout the forum two senators came to present opposing viewpoints concerning the debate between vice presidents by election or directors by appointment.
Another major proposal was the addition of a judicial branch. The reasoning behind the judicial branch is to create more checks and balances for the SGA and to give the student body a way of contesting any decision made by the SGA.
Senator Alex Aiosa stated that the reason for proposing that a judicial branch be created is from student feedback in the past. “We all felt that the SGA needed a way to check itself,” Aiosa said. “We’ve listened to student feedback in the past, and some students have felt that the SGA has too much free reign and there is no one to really curb what they do.”
As for the vice president positions, they are currently elected positions that allows anyone who wants to be in that position to campaign during election season. When asked about the debate between elected positions and appointed, Senator Jake Fisher represented the side of election during the forum.
“These positions make important decisions and those decisions affect the student body,” Fisher said. “That essentially is their voice and students should get to choose who makes those decisions, who has those events, who makes those changes and [students] express their opinions through a vote. That’s kind of the basis on the opinion there. That the students’ voices may be restricted by having the body itself pick the position.”
Senator Alex Aiosa presented on the side of appointment rather than election at the SGA forum. He made the point that students have a hard time getting up in front of people and defending their positions on certain issues, yet these same students do have good ideas and could potentially do well in SGA.
“It’s not easy to stand up in front of a lot of people and talk. It’s intimidating, frightening, but these students still have a lot of very good ideas,” Aiosa said.
He also made the point that there is a severe lack of participation in SGA affairs from the students here on campus.
“Students don’t really get out voting…the student population doesn’t really run for any office and we only have a four percent voter turnout across the student body, which is kind of upsetting, but it is something we are working on to fix,” Aiosa said.
SGA Parliamentarian Garrett Gordy shared that change to the constitution is necessary. “It was time for change,” Gordy said. “We require that [Registered Student Organizations and Registered Club Organizations] change or review their constitutions every five years, so we are just following the same policy.”
As time passes, new changes are considered to accommodate the needs of students. “It was time for an update with our current system. We are a growing university,” Gordy said.
These proposed changes will be reintroduced in the next forum on Nov. 20 and it is yet to be seen whether they will get the two-thirds majority vote needed to pass the amendments.
Change is waiting in the wings but the fate of these amendments is left to the students who attend at the next forum