Home / Fall 2013 / 2013-10-31 / SGA votes in new constitution

SGA votes in new constitution

Written by: Joe Adgie

The SGA gave its approval for a new constitution and bylaws during Monday night’s meeting.
That new constitution has to be approved by the VSU student body before it is officially ratified, while the bylaws, or the “internal document” for “internal operational procedures,” do not, according to SGA president Will Jimerson.
These bylaws feature significant adjustments to election regulations and co-sponsorship requirements. Previously, the SGA had required all expenditure requests exceeding $500 to be reviewed by the Senate Finance Committee. In the new bylaws, a concrete maximum of $499 is listed. There is no provision for review for any request exceeding that amount.
The SGA has also included provisions for how and when co-sponsorship applications should be turned in and presented.
“Co-sponsorship request applications should be turned in at least four weeks prior to the event date or date when the date when the funds are needed, whichever date comes first,” reads the new bylaw.
There is no such provision in the old bylaws.
The article was described by Jimerson as “copy-and-paste” from the SGA’s co-sponsorship application.
Of note, references to executive board expenditures have been removed from the new bylaws. The old bylaws have a section regarding these expenditures, including a $300 limit on office supplies for the executive branch.
In addition, the elections regulations have been significantly expanded from the old bylaws.
“The bulk of the bylaws is the elections code, just being honest,” Jimerson said during last week’s SGA meeting.
The regulations, which were one and a half pages long on the old bylaws, now weigh in at eight pages, and cover specifics such as prohibited actions, election irregularities, and campaigning rules. These eight pages are intended to cut back on the controversy that has marred SGA elections in two of the last three years.
For starters, the SGA elections committee was removed from the SGA, according to Jimerson.
“SGA will no longer take part in the elections committee,” Jimerson said. “It will be a third party. We don’t want to be biased towards any candidate from any internal affairs.”
“There are a lot of unclear, unconcise definitions and things of that nature,” said Jimerson. “We want to be very, very thorough on our expectations of our candidates of SGA.”
Executive board candidates have seen their requirements toughened as well, with executive hopefuls needing a 2.75 GPA and 200 petition signatures.
Write-in candidates have also been eliminated.
“You just need to fill out the elections packets like everyone else,” Jimerson said.
The bylaws were ratified by the SGA almost unanimously. The lone dissenting vote came from senator Nkosi Belle, who asked for more time to look at the bylaws, in spite of these bylaws having been seen by the SGA for the past week.
The constitution was ratified unanimously.

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