By Elyse Breeze
[Featured image courtesy of the Student Government Association. From left to right: Chief Justice Noah Burton; Associate Justice Samantha Gier; Associate Justice Colleen Corrado; Associate Justice Bradi Hopkins; Associate Justice Anthony Minchella; Associate Justice Nathanial Discavage]
The Student Government Association at St. Bonaventure University last operated on a legally ratified constitution in 2011.
Over the last five years, the SGA executive board has not consulted the student body with any proposed amendments to make to the official constitution.
The first SGA meeting of the spring 2016 semester opened with a report from president Rose Brown explaining that any and all amendments made to the constitution since 2011 have been “null and void.”
“The SGA voted on and approved the proposed amendments in 2013 and 2014 as required by the constitution; but the proposed amendments were never presented to the student body for a vote,” Brown said. “…those amendments to our constitution are invalid as they were never presented to our student body for ratification.”
Brown explained that SGA must operate with the 2011 constitution until an updated version is ratified by the student body. With a deadline of 60 days after the student senate vote.
To comply with the 2011 constitution, SGA made several alterations to their senate and appointed five associate justices and one chief justice.
“Rather than having at-large senators, we are required by the 2011 constitution to have senators fill specific seats,” said Brown. “No senator is losing their seat in SGA… For example, the senator assigned to the west side senate seat resides on the west side of campus; a senator assigned to a club senate seat is a member of a club.”
At the meeting, Brown swore in the judicial board; they will serve until March 31, 2016. SGA posted the information to their official Facebook page congratulating each of them:
“Today SGA appointed and confirmed 1 Chief Justice and 5 Associate Justices to our Judicial Board. All the justices were confirmed by a majority vote. These justices will serve until March 31, 2016. They will be spending the next two weeks overlooking SGA’s Constitution and recommending changes to our Student Senate. We would like to congratulate Chief Justice Noah Burton, Associate Justice Samantha Gier, Associate Justice Colleen Corrado, Associate Justice Bradi Hopkins, Associate Justice Anthony Minchella, and Associate Justice Nate Discavage. Welcome to the SBU Student Government Association!”
Copies of the senate vote have also been provided by the SGA Facebook page:
The Constitutional Revision Committee will meet several times over the next two weeks. On Feb. 16, the committee will have the first reading of the revised constitution; on Feb. 18, SGA senators will discuss the document line-by-line to approve its amendments. Once it is approved by SGA, it will move along to a student body vote.
The expected voting date is said to occur on April 21, 2016 — 60 days after the senate vote.
We will post any and all information that we receive during the ratification process. Stay updated by following @Intrepid_SBU on Twitter. Over the course of the revisions, we will be posting updates via our website, Facebook page and Twitter account.