COURTESY OF HUNTER ELLIS
The Xavier Student Government Association (SGA) has formed an ad hoc committee focused on creating and proposing changes to its own constitution, revamping talks which stalled at the end of last year after proposed constitutional changes failed to pass.
The constitution committee will be led by Vice Presidents Mickey Townsend and Mahnoor Zahra.
According to the executives, they have built a diverse group of 5 senators, ensuring one representative from each of the four main committees, representing each class, with a mix of new and returning senators.
All three of the executives discussed how they think the SGA constitution needs to be changed. “Being a Senator last year, and an executive this year, I can certainly tell that the SGA constitution has not been updated in a while,” Townsend said. “I commend (former Vice President) Alfredo Mercedes for leading that committee last semester and being willing to change the issues he saw.”
“You can open up the constitution, you can go through it and see that it’s a fine document, but you can also see that there are inconsistencies… poor phrasing, bad wording, as well as general vagueness about some of the roles and responsibilities,” President Thomas Wehby said.
“We should have more people involved in more roles and positions and more defined roles as well,” Zahra said.
Townsend said that the committee will be looking to change the constitution in a variety of ways, from simple word corrections to structural changes to the number of senators and executives.
Townsend also recapped the failure of the constitution changes last year, noting that SGA wanted to ensure a representative from each college at Xavier, but the Board of Elections (BOE) was unable to ensure that change on such a short deadline after communication fell through between the groups.
In order to correct the mistakes by last year’s SGA, Wehby said that the committee will keep open communication with Peter Korchak and the BOE.
“We don’t want what happened last year to happen this year, where we fail to communicate our changes and that lack of communication stunts the progress we are trying to make,” Wehby said.
The changes the constitution committee will have to bring their ideal changes back to the whole senate body to be confirmed by a vote.
While the executives are unsure of when the changes will be ready to bring to a vote, they are hoping significant progress will be made in the coming months so that the changes can be approved with ample time for BOE to make the requisite changes.
“This May be a bit bold, but I hope by the first three weeks of the fall semester we will have these changes ready to present to the Senate,” said Wehby.
Directly following the whole senate body meeting on Monday, Vice President Townsend led the Constitution committee’s first meeting. During the meeting, Townsend presented a powerpoint to the committee that included changes to the constitution first drawn up by former Vice President Mercedes and last year’s senate, and had been revised by the executives this year.