Student government constitutional faults test student trust

[Image retrieved from]

Student government lacks communication and transparency, raising problems within the student body

By Emily Rosman

ST. BONAVENTURE (May 3, 2016) – The Student Government Association’s budget report projects about a $90,000 decrease for the 2016-2017 academic year. Armed with a constitution that has failed twice in the last six months alone and declining student support, student government at St. Bonaventure has a lot of upcoming responsibility.

Student government, also referred to as SGA, works as a liaison between the student body, university, faculty and administration.

SGA faces problems with leadership, finances, its advisor’s role and a faulty constitution. This has resulted in an increased lack of trust based on conversations with multiple students.

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SGA proposes amendments to constitution

By Bryce Spadafora

The Student Government Association at St. Bonaventure University met to propose amendments to its constitution today. The amendments, drafted by SGA’s Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC), cover a range of topics from election of class officers to clarifying the language of the current constitution.

One amendment, proposed to Article VII, modifies the language surrounding who is eligible to hold an SGA position. Section 2 of the article currently states that, “Anyone seeking office in the SGA must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.” The proposed amendment changes the requirement from a minimum GPA of 2.0 to “good academic standing,” a quality determined by the university, not SGA.

Further amendments propose a change in the length of terms for future Judicial Branch members. If ratified, Judicial Branch members can serve for a maximum of four years or until fall semester of the member’s graduating year. The CRC reasoned that, under the amendment, “Justices are allowed to make tough decisions without facing political pressure that could influence their decision.”

SGA will vote on the proposed amendments Feb. 23 before holding a student vote via my.sbu. The amendments will then be passed on to Richard Trietley, vice president for student affairs, and Sister Margaret Carney, university president, who will have the final say on which amendments are ratified.

The complete list of proposed amendments can be found below.

Amendments to SGA Constitution with Rationales

Current SGA constitution “null and void”


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.”

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Column: Students are not fairly represented by SGA in charity voting process

By Nate Discavage  @DiscavageSavage

Photo retrieved from SBU Student Government Association Facebook page

“We, the students of St. Bonaventure University, in order to provide an officially recognized student organization that identifies and represents student interests…”

That is the opening line to the Student Government Association’s (SGA) constitution.  Recently, it has been harder and harder for St. Bonaventure students to feel like they are being fairly represented by their student-leaders.

On Nov. 24, SGA voted for Embrace it Africa to replace March of Dimes as the official charity of St. Bonaventure for the 2016-2017 academic year.  While there are no issues with the selection of Embrace it Africa, the voting process should definitely be called into question.

Continue reading “Column: Students are not fairly represented by SGA in charity voting process”