Students will vote to reject or ratify a completely rewritten Students’ Association constitution beginning April 8. The new document clearly defines the role for the executive branch of government and aims to eliminate competition and infighting between the three branches of government.

“The executive branch is going to deal with advocacy toward the administration. The senate will have jurisdiction over the SA, specifically regarding appropriation of funds,” said SA president and senior John LaBoda.

Under the new plan, outlined at the meeting of the constitutional committee Wednesday, constituents will be able to go directly to newly-established cabinet posts for areas such as parking, residential life and dining. Senators may also work as liaisons between their constituents and these executive branch cabinet positions. These options will be widely publicized.

“The senate should have the power to facilitate,” said senior and off-campus senator Ashley Conner.

In other matters, some committee members raised concern over a viable recourse on judicial manners. The All Campus Judicial Council acts as the end of the legal line on most matters. Senators urged that there must not be one supreme body over all others or risk a dissolution of the inherent checks and balances.

Conner also questioned the strict imitation of the U.S. Constitution. “We’re not the U.S. government,” she said.

Ten of thirteen members of the committee were present at the meeting. Conner and others felt the body may have been too small to be a fair representation of the interests of many.

Tension is high as members rush to edit the constitution and write the associated bylaws. Committee member and SA chief of staff and junior Lonny Mallach was one who felt the completion was being carelessly hurried to the student body.

Members hope to have the document ready for ratification on April 8, the first day of student registration. Members are holding a special meeting April 7 to finalize its details. That meeting, like all others, is open to the university public. It is tentatively scheduled for 5 p.m. in the conference rooms of lower Wilson Commons.

Students should be able to vote in a variety of ways including on the Internet, at course registration and by paper ballot.

Working copies of the new constitution will soon be available on the Hive, in a future issue of the Campus Times and on posters around campus. Students will be encouraged to provide feedback for the committee ahead of the April 8 deadline.

Bobkoff can be reached at dbobkoff@campustimes.org.



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