The Student Association released the final draft of their proposed constitutional overhaul, which they plan to bring to a vote at Monday night’s student assembly meeting.
If the assembly votes to approve the new constitution, the student body would then have to approve it during the upcoming SA Executive Board elections in order it to be officially adopted.
This version retains many of the changes that were included in the first draft, but with some key differences.
Off Campus College would have 15 representatives in the newly renamed student congress — as opposed to the 10 that the previous draft called for — making up one-third of the legislative body. The change means that the legislative branch will now have 45 representatives as opposed to the 40 called for in the initial draft, and the 61 under the current constitution.
According to David Blair, chair of the constitutional review committee, the increase is meant to make the representation more proportional.
“It was OC3’s (Off Campus College Council) large size relative to the other communities which led us to increase the number from 10,” Blair, a senior majoring in math, wrote in an email.
The draft also calls for Susquehanna Community and Hillside Community to share five representatives who will be equally accountable to both communities.
But Ryan McTiernan, president of the Susquehanna Community Council, dislikes the changes.
“I would much prefer that Susquehanna has its own representative so that they represent Susquehanna’s interests solely,” said McTiernan, a senior majoring in political science.
Although Susquehanna is allocated two seats, it currently has no representatives seated in the Assembly.
The second constitution draft also omits the original draft’s proposed name change for the vice president for multicultural affairs, suggested to be renamed the vice president for diversity and inclusiveness in order to better represent students with disabilities and minorities who don’t fall under the traditional cultural group umbrella.
Blair said that while the name will stay the same, the role of the position will still be expanded.
“The VPMA name will remain because it has very high name recognition with the administration and with student groups,” Blair said. “The VPMA will have an expanded role, representing students with disabilities, international students, students in the EOP program, and all other types of diversity on this campus.”
But Donald Lodge, director of Rainbow Pride Union, said that he feels the title doesn’t reflect the needs of his group.
“We don’t feel we are a cultural group,” said Lodge, a junior double-majoring in political science and Chinese. “LGBT people are not a culture, we are a community.”
Like in the original draft, the financial council would be merged into the legislative branch as the finance committee, but the final draft calls for the members to continue to be elected separately.
Blair said that this change is in recognition of the special role of the committee.
“There were concerns that given the importance of the finance committee that those on the finance committee should be elected by their constituents specifically for the purpose of serving on that committee,” Blair wrote.
The final draft still calls for the creation of a new committee within the legislature that will focus on student life and academic needs, grants the the executive board the power to veto legislation with a 5/6 vote and requires the Judicial Board to review all legislation for constitutionality.