Texas Wesleyan’s Student Government Association Treasurer Nicholas Davis presented a new constitution at Friday’s general business meeting that would replace the current one.
“I want to break SGA into three branches, like normal U.S. government we have the executive, judicial and legislative branches,” Davis said.
SGA President Alyssa Hutchinson said Davis has worked on the constitution all year and his presentation explains how it would work and what things will change.
“Keep in mind this has to be approved by the student body, not by us,” Hutchinson said.
Davis said he drafted a new constitution because he was seeing problems in how the SGA process works.
“There is kind of a disconnect between the executives and the representatives and it is pretty easily remedied,” Davis said. “I have really not been a fan of the constitution or the by-laws since I have got in. They are really circumstantial, and I think they are kind of written in the moment and kind of a knee-jerk response to a lot of stuff that we do and they are not applicable always.”
Davis broke down who would be a part of each brand and what their jobs would be.
“The executive branch would be the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer and then cabinet members possibly,” he said.
The executives would be in charge of administrative work, Davis said. “They are going to have pretty much be able to nominate people. Be able to do a lot of the administrative executive stuff. I haven’t worked it out yet, that is what they by-laws are for but I am currently in the process of working on that.”
The legislative branch would be made up of the senators, which are called representatives now.
“Then you have the speaker of the senate which I currently have now as vice president. I think it gives the vice president a little more to do,” he said. “I have the president doing a little more of the logistical and administrative aspects of student government which I think makes a little more sense since currently.”
The legislative branch would also include a head senator and a legal, Davis said. The current chief justice has the same role as the legal would. There would also be a rapporteur, whose duties would include taking notes, which is currently the job of the secretary.
“Functions of the legislative branch is they pretty much are going to do a lot of the legislation and work with their constituents and represent the student body. Nothing is going to change in that regard,” he said.
Davis wants to go from using “Robert’s Rules of Order” to using the “short-term” version of it.
“I think that that is more conducive to what we want. I would just recommend doing short form ‘Robert’s Rules,’” he said. “For starters, you get more business done. It is a little bit less tense in the room and it is a little bit easier.”
Davis said he envisions the legislature bringing students in to work on legislation.
“Sometimes I feel like in these meetings there is a disconnect between what people know about the bills and what they don’t know,” he said. “I think we need to pretty much mitigate that if we draft bills on the floor, draft bills on the fly and everybody understands all the stuff that is happening the whole time. I think it is a better system altogether.”
The judicial branch would be made up of the chief justice and associate justices.
“The judicial branch is still going to do elections, do the appeals for tickets and stuff, whatever the case may be,” he said.
Davis said he wants to keep the judicial branch isolated from the executive and legislative branches because they work more on appellate matters.
“One of the things I want the judicial branch to have is one of their own by-laws that they run off of and the executive and legislature run off a separate set of by-laws,” he said. “The reason for this is I think there is different functionality between the legislative and executive compared to what the judicial does. It doesn’t make sense for them to go off the same exact by-laws as we do.”
Davis said he believes this new system will be effective in getting students more involved in SGA and writing legislation.
“I think that we are going to have bills that have a lot more meaning to them, a lot more sustenance besides us just doing events because they are mandated in the by-laws,” he said. “I think that we can do a lot more initiative-based stuff with this and do really great things with students, working with them, our constituent base and drafting bills that are meaningful.”
SGA Representative At-Large Ebeline Luna said the new system is brilliant.
“I think what you said about bringing students in and talking with them about legislation, I think that that is something that SGA needs for next year because as we have seen this past year, there is not a lot of students that come in to the meetings,” Luna said. “I think this is a great incentive even for organizations that want to have their voices heard.”
Also at the Friday meeting, SGA passed an International Spring Pizza Party bill presented by SGA International Representative Hasibullah Aimaq. A date and time for the party has not been determined.
“This is a pizza party for all students especially international students since I represent them,” Aimaq said. “This is an opportunity for students to come like at other events to share their concerns and questions.”
The pizza party is open to all students and we be held in the International Office on Thursday during free period.
SGA also passed a bill for more ink cartridges for the Student Lounge in the Polytechnic United Methodist Church.