- Student Government Association
- Constitution and Rules
- Rationale for Constitutional Amendments
Rationale for Constitutional Amendments
At our last meeting on April 5, the SGA unanimously voted to approve amendments to our constitution. Our constitution states that the amendments must then be advertised and approved by a 2/3 majority of the student body in the next election or special election.
Explanations of each major change are included below. Please take the time to read over these amendments and be sure to vote on them in the SGA spring election, April 15-16.
Added the position of Online Student Senator
The position will be open to any degree-seeking student enrolled in an online major. The online senator will participate in emails either in person or via conference call and will use Blackboard and other electronic tools to reach out to constituents. This position will provide the online student population with the representation they currently lack.
Added the position of External Vice-President.
The External Vice-President will be appointed by the newly elected President after the spring elections and will be a non-voting member of the SGA and Executive Board. The External Vice President is responsible for developing and maintaining relationships between the SGA and legislators, administrators, students, the Alumni Association and the Springfield community and shall serve as Chair of the SGA Governmental Affairs Committee.
Changed the title “Capital Scholars Senator” to “Undergraduate Senator”.
The position of Capital Scholars Senator is widely believed to be reserved for Cap Honors students, but “Capital Scholar” is actually a designation for any undergraduate student who starts as a freshman at UIS. The name change will better reflect who is eligible for the position.
We decided that having senators for both honors and traditional track would create additional tension between the two groups and upset the balance between Capital Scholars, transfers and graduate students. We believe it would be better for both the honors and traditional track students to represent them with one senate seat because it would create less divisions between two student populations with very similar needs.
Changed the title “Vice-President” to “Internal Vice-President”.
A small change. With the addition of the External Vice-President, the current Vice-President will now be called the Internal Vice-President.
Changed the the title “Sergeant-at-Arms” to “Parliamentarian”.
The Constitution uses both terms interchangably. For the sake of consistency, we will use the term Parliamentarian. Parliamentarian is also a better description of the position, as our Sergeant-at-Arms is responsible for ruling on questions of parliamentary procedure, not keeping order on the floor.
Changed the number of credit hours required to run for President or Vice-President from 12 credit hours to 12 hours of undergraduate credit or 8 hours of graduate credit.
The current policy allows freshmen to run for those positions but not graduate students. This change would allow first-year, full-time graduate students to run for those offices.
Deleted Budget Review Committee from the list of standing committees.
The Budget Review Committee has rarely been used over the past few years, as we have adopted much less formal mechanisms to approve expenditures and review the budget, rendering it unnecessary.
Added Governmental Affairs Committee and Committee on Committees to the list of standing committees.
Both are important committees that need to be made standing committees. The Committee on Committees keeps track of committee participation and action and the Governmental Affairs Committee focuses on governmental relations and lobbying.
Added serving as Chair of the Committee on Committees to the list of the Internal Vice President’s responsibilities.
The Committee on Committees has been chaired by the Secretary in past years but it would be more appropriate for the Internal Vice-President to chair it, as that person will be responsible for keeping the internal workings of the SGA running smoothly.
Added that the Education and Human Services Senator position is open to students enrolled in a minor in EHS.
EHS only has one major, Social Work, and the senator seat is rarely filled because so few students are eligible to run. Opening it up to EHS minors would allow more students to compete.