OPINION | SGA would rather go around constitution than amend it

While we’ve come to expect federal government officials bickering among one another and not serving their constituents, we do not expect such acts from Butler University’s Student Government
Association.

It is appalling that such an important group on campus is in such disarray.

One recent point of contention: SGA can’t agree on whether to follow a simple provision in its own constitution: how long a student has to serve in assembly before they can join the Election Oversight Committee, the organization’s most influential committee.

The committee’s constitutional provision reads that “the committee shall consist of seven full time SGA Representatives who are in good standing with the University and who have been representatives in the SGA Assembly for at least two consecutive semesters.”

There are currently four freshmen on the seven person committee.

SGA’s constitution was drafted years ago and has already been updated this year, so it is disappointing that members still can’t agree on fundamental principles or determine what to add or leave out.

EOC is trying to ignore the constitution and let freshman serve on the committee without having the proper credentials.

Right now, the committee is not trying to amend the constitutionm but just temporarily suspend it to allow freshmen to serve.

Parliamentarian AJ Teare said that SGA plans on eventually perminently amending its constitution so that all SGA representatives can sit on the EOC, regardless of how many semesters they have served in assembly, despite a provision in SGA’s constitution.

The EOC is the most important committee since it is in charge of forming all of the other SGA committees.

“It all starts with the EOC and how proactive they are,” said Anna Roueche, former chair of the EOC.

Roueche said freshmen and people who had not served two consecutive semesters in assembly do serve on committees.

If the constitution has been in place for years, there is no reason that a debate should be taking place on this cut and dry topic.

These debates are just delaying conversation and progress on topics that actually need to be addressed, like how to manage the budget.

Council on Presidential Affairs Chair Mike Tirman said that resolving the uncertainty with the EOC is important.

“Although I am never in favor of just changing the constitution frivolously,” Tirman said, “this is one point where it makes sense because we want it to be understandable to the next generation of EOC members who have to read it and make a judgment call.”

Freshman Nathan Smith supports two semesters of service in SGA before joining EOC.
“Coming into college, I had no idea what SGA was,” Smith said.  “You need to understand the university and the organization. I really do believe you need some form of experience.”

SGA is stagnating, as the semester moves on, unable to put qualified people in the right positions.

With all of this internal confusion and chaos, someone has to be held responsible for the inadequacy of SGA. SGA President Al Carroll has to grab the reigns and take control of his organization.

Someone has to be held accountable for the inadequacy of SGA and the petty debates which end up crippling SGA and the student body as a whole.

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