Constitution brings changes

Ashlee Clark

This year’s Student Government Association elections will be run a little differently.

The new SGA constitution approved last week introduces many changes to the organization’s structure – including the creation of several new positions, the elimination of two vice president positions, a smaller legislative branch and an increased separation of power between the legislative and executive branches.

The legislative branch, which will be referred to as the senate, will also be elected today and tomorrow along with the president, executive vice president and administrative vice president.

Four appointed positions – a chief of staff, speaker of the senate, secretary of the senate and director of academic and student affairs – were added through the new constitution.

The director of academic and student affairs will be appointed by the executive cabinet and the chief of staff will be appointed by the president.

The senate will elect the speaker of the senate, who will then appoint the secretary of the senate. That appointment will be approved by the senate.

The duties of the vice president for finance will be combined with those of the administrative vice president.

The vice president for public relations will become an appointed position.

The size of the legislative branch will be reduced from 75 to 35 and be elected by students.

The legislative branch was also required to be elected in the old constitution, but empty positions were filled by appointment.

The executive branch will no longer be able to present legislation to the senate. This helps further separate the two branches, said Robert Watkins, chair of the legislative research committee and author of the constitution and bylaws.

Watkins wrote the constitution last semester.

It took five attempts to get the constitution approved by the legislative branch because there weren’t enough members present at the meetings.

There has to be two-thirds of the legislative branch present to vote on legislation.

The constitution was approved through student referendum on March 9.

Reach Ashlee Clark at [email protected].