By Kayla Perry
At the Nov. 13 Students’ General Association board meeting, the board voted to officially endorse the new version of the SGA constitution.
The SGA has been in the process of re-vamping the constitution, which was last updated 20 years ago, since the beginning of this school year.
The vote took place on Nov. 13, and Andy Rollins, SGA President, as well as Charles Wilson, SGA Executive Director, signed the official copy on Nov. 14.
Rollins said the biggest change between the new SGA constitution, and the former 20-year-old constitution is that the new constitution has been brought up to “present day.”
Another glaring change is the size the SGA board will be: “instead of having a board of 60-plus people, we’ve reduced it down to 12 people,” said Rollins.
Going hand-in-hand with the smaller board will be SGA council, which will consist of approximately 60 people. The council will meet once a month during the school year, excluding the months of December and April, due to exams, and the SGA board will continue to meet every two weeks as per usual.
“Right now, the SGA board kind of functions as the council: there are 60 people and they all have their own separate voice. Basically what’s happening in the meetings now is (the SGA) is trying to filter through all of the 60 voices,” said Rollins. “Now, since the council will meet once a month, and we’ll have the SGA Board of Governors that meets once every two weeks, the council’s job will be to filter through the voices, and find the big issues.”
The 60-people council will be composed of the SGA Executive (including the president, and the vice-presidents), the senators, a representative from the LU residences and another for the federated universities, two representatives for off-campus students, a representative from each department, the executive director, and representatives from constituency groups (such as accessibility, pride, indigenous and women’s center), as stated in the constitution.
“Essentially, the council’s job is to filter through the issues around campus, to give (the SGA board) the bigger issues,” said Rollins. “It’ll help us run a smoother SGA for our students.”
Another change in the updated constitution is the new titles of the Vice President’s roles. The VP of Issues title was changed to the VP of Policy and Advocacy, and the VP of Services was changed to the VP of Student Life.
“(The SGA) felt that over the past 10 years, the VP positions have taken on a different role in the school and community,” Rollins said. “The former names were very broad – a new person coming into the job may not know what the job entails. We changed it so the new people coming into the jobs know what their role is.”
The SGA board voted to endorse the four sections of the constitution: Section H, which covers the transitional provisions, the bylaws, the rules of order, and finally the constitution itself.
Although the constitution was voted on in November 2013, many of the changes will come into action in Sep. 2014, such as the new vice-president titles and the council.
“The SGA is always changing, and so is the constitution,” Rollins said. “As soon as this constitution gets put into place, the university will be changing again, and the constitution will be old again. It’s something we have to keep changing and keep up with. If
anyone has any suggestions they want to bring to the board, we highly suggest they do that.”
Although the SGA board voted in favour of the new constitution, the process is not over yet: at the SGA’s Annual General Meeting, which will take place on Dec. 4, the approval of the constitution must get approved. Rollins said that although the SGA constitution was not online immediately, it will be online by Nov. 16.