Constitution will help SGA become more effective

There seems to be a trend of slimming down. But it’s not limited to those on the Atkins diet.

The Student Government Association is considering a new constitution that would change its governmental structure. Under this proposed constitution, SGA’s legislative body would change its name from congress to senate. The body’s members, who would all be elected rather than appointed, would decrease from 75 to 35. Several leadership positions would also be added, eliminated or modified.

We support SGA in considering these changes, despite the difficulty of doing so. SGA President John Bradley said it’s a “long and tedious process” to pass a new constitution. SGA could have settled for its current structure, but we’re glad SGA was willing to research other student governmental structures and find ways to be more effective in governing itself and the student body.

These new reforms will allow SGA to better represent Western students. With four elected representatives from the freshman, sophomore, junior and senior classes, elected members can better meet the needs and interests of a smaller group, the people who elected them. The newly elected at-large members can focus on any student interests that may fall through the cracks. Under this new structure, SGA can represent a larger part of the student population. Students can also place more accountability since they will have a few people they can go directly to.

This will benefit the organization as well. Since every member must be elected, its members are more likely to be passionate about governing the student body and less likely to do it just to have something on their resume. Added leadership positions, such as a chief of staff, a speaker of the senate and senate secretary will allow more independence for both the executive staff and the SGA legislative body, which will quicken a lot of its governmental procedures.

But if SGA passes the new constitution and establishes the new structure, students need to do their part as well.

Robert Watkins, author of the new constitution, said he thinks the student body will become more involved in the election process. We agree. It is more likely that students will come to the polls come springtime, if they know that their elected representative will have a direct impact on their interests, needs and demands.

But student involvement should not be limited to placing votes on TopNet. Even if SGA creates a more effective governmental body, it will only be as effective as the students that run it. If this constitution is passed, it’s not only a chance for students to go out and have a voice for themselves, but also for their fellow classmates.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 9-member board of student editors.