Students will be voting this month whether to uphold several changes made to the SGA constitution over the past year.
Students will be asked to consider three important amendments this election cycle: the decision to do away with separate elections for senators and executives, a resolution requiring any raises to student fees be approved by a two-thirds vote rather than a simple majority and the removal of a reverse referendum process implemented last semester.
The SGA Senate was originally planning to hold executive elections in the fall semester and Senate elections during the spring but was forced to revert back to the traditional election structure when they didn’t receive enough applications for executive positions.
“The executive elections in the spring typically really overshadow the senator elections,” said Sen. Zach Tuggle, a proponent behind several amendments to the SGA constitution last year.
“Which is frustrating because senators are the decision-makers of SGA, and the Senate just voted to raise fees for the Culp.”
Some students expressed a desire for the Senate to keep executive and Senate elections separate.
“I think it would be better for them to be separate,” said Linda Dobele, a sophomore international student from Latvia majoring in psychology.
“Because if they’re together then people are confused. What are they actually voting for?”
Sarah Perry, a junior majoring in history, said she approved of the amendment requiring two-thirds of the Senate to vote in favor of fee increases.
“I would say that when it comes to fee increases, it should be a majority thing because then you get a more representative picture of what students think about this fee,” Perry said.
“We’re poor college students, we don’t like paying money.”
Other students were also in favor of ensuring student fee increases be decided by a larger majority vote.
“I think if we had more senators vote on it, it would benefit [students],” said David Ackerman, a freshman digital media major.
“Because we would get more of the opinion and see what the majority really thinks instead of just half and one.”
Another amendment to the constitution students will be considering is the decision to remove a reverse referendum process that would allow senators to send issues to the student body for a popular vote.
“I think it’s kind of a good and bad thing,” Ackerman said. “It limits our [the student body’s] opinion, but at the same time it doesn’t allow us to exactly control everything.”
Tuggle said the idea for a reverse referendum process grew out of the controversy over Sex Week last semester and the process was removed because many senators believed it would take power away from the Senate.
Perry said the effectiveness of a reverse referendum would be best judged on a case-by-case basis.
“I think it depends on what you’re doing it for,” Perry said. “I think that’s really where it lies, it’s one of things that it really depends on what the exact issue is.”
Tuggle said he believed the process would be harmful to the student body because it would make it difficult for groups with minority opinions to receive Buc Funding.
“When it comes to allocating money you have a certain set of rules you have to follow,” Tuggle said. “You cannot fund money based on popular opinion.”
Student will have the opportunity to pass judgement on the changes to the SGA constitution when they vote for executive and Senate candidates April 14 and 15.