After revising several aspects of their constitution, Student Government Association has placed the revised constitution on the ballot for a student vote.
The new constitution, which was discussed in closed session during the Feb. 28 senate meeting, passed on a vote of 11-1. SGA refused to release a copy of the revised constitution by press time March 2. However, multiple sources have confirmed that the new constitution does not include Residence Council as a branch of SGA, but could not provide details of what will be done with their current $25,000-$30,000 budget.
SGA President Dillon Harp declined to comment on the details of the revised constitution until it was officially released.
Harp said that Senate and members of the executive board agreed to hold the discussion on the constitution in closed session.
“It was involving personnel matters, so they felt it was the best move,” Harp said.
Parliamentarian Jacob Scott said that students could have spoken about changes to the constitution before the meeting became a closed session. Scott also said that the Senators were acting as the voice of the students during the closed session.
“It says specifically in our constitution that we are the association and the association is defined as the students of Missouri Western,” Scott said.
Senator Nick McCutcheon, the single dissenting vote, believes that SGA hurried through the process of revising the constitution, but believes that closed session was necessary to discuss the specific changes to the constitution.
“I felt it was a bit rushed,” McCutcheon said. “Revisions were suggested a long time ago but I know for a fact that going into the meeting that not every Senator had looked at the most revised copy and I know for a fact that some senators probably voting without fully understanding some of the revisions or why they were made or what they really meant.”
McCutcheon also disagrees with certain sections of the revised constitution. In particular, McCutcheon feels that the 20 percent allocation to Student Affairs is taking the money out of SGA’s hands.
“To kind of use an analogy I see it as a parent telling their child ‘you earn a $100 allowance, I’m going to give you $80 and keep $20. Maybe I’ll spend it to help you with things like groceries or doctor’s visits,’” McCutcheon said, “the money will be used to benefit you, but I’m not going to allow you to choose how to spend that $20.”
McCutcheon said that he hopes students read the constitution carefully before voting on it.
“If students vote yes on that constitution then that tells me that they don’t mind the university using students’ money to fund things that should be funded through the university budget,” McCutcheon said. “If the constitution is approved then I’ll quit fighting it, but I’m positive there are other people out there feel the same way I do about it, maybe they just don’t understand it.”