SGA constitutional amendment sets off disagreement

Elections+Chair+Christopher+Henderson-West+raises+his+hand+to+ask+a+question+at+the+Nov.+13+meeting.+Anissa+Gardizy+%2F+Beacon+Staff

Elections Chair Christopher Henderson-West raises his hand to ask a question at the Nov. 13 meeting. Anissa Gardizy / Beacon Staff

By Diana Bravo, Assistant News Editor

The Student Government Association voted to add a new amendment to the fall 2018 ballot setting strict requirements for the Board of Trustees representative at the weekly Tuesday meeting.   

The Board of Trustees representative acts as a spokesperson for SGA and the undergraduate student body to the Board. The representative’s duties involve writing a speech with help from other SGA members, presenting it to the Board, and reporting back any comments. The SGA constitution and bylaws did not previously include these responsibilities.

The executive president would sometimes appoint themselves to the position without a vote before the proposed amendment. In other years, Joint Session voted to appoint different members of SGA as the undergraduate representative. This year, Executive President Jessica Guida serves as the undergraduate representative.

The proposed amendment seeks to create specific requirements for the position such as undergraduate SGA membership, and availability to attend and speak at each of the Board’s three meetings. The final draft of the amendment passed with nine yes votes and one no vote.

“I would have a difficult time with [the representative] representing the whole student body [to the Board] and then not having them in on the conversation,” Performing Arts Senator Josh Schussler said at the meeting.

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The first version of the amendment, written by Guida, caused disagreement among SGA members at the Nov. 6 meeting as it stated the Executive President would automatically fill the position. Some members of SGA debated whether the Executive President would always best represent the undergraduate population to the Board.

SGA voted Guida’s draft down with eight no votes and one abstention.

“Obviously I trust [Guida], but five years from now we don’t know who the president will be,” Journalism Senator Joseph Davidi said at the Nov. 6 meeting.