Student Government actions unconstitutional?

The Student Government may not be who you think they are. According to the Student Government constitution, SC4’s Student Government is not just the elected officers who receive scholarships for their service. Article II of the Student Government Constitution details who actually comprises student government.

Membership consists of the elected officers, appointed members, and the club representatives who vote to approve matters, with each club receiving one vote.

But what do representatives approve? Based on meeting minutes, very little. Representatives have voted to approve minutes from previous meetings, and one purchase of office supplies Sept. 8.

According to the constitution, however, Student Government is required to approve much more.

Article II states that no bills are to be incurred without the approval of Student Government. According to Article II, a majority vote is required to pass any motion or resolution. Only one bill was approved by the Student Government, which was a purchase of office supplies for $199.28, approved at the beginning of the first all-club meeting Sept. 8.

No approval from representatives was given for the NCSL conference trip that the Student Government officers took Nov. 3-8. Carrie Bearss, the Student Activities Coordinator, said that the “executive board” had permission from administration to attend the conference.

The first official mention of the NCSL conference did not come until after the conference, at the all-club meeting Nov. 10.  The event was not publicized to the club representatives. The Student  Government constitution states that it is the duty of the vice president to “publicize all Student Government activities.”

After the Dec. 1 all-club meeting the first official treasurer’s report was distributed via email. According to the Student Government constitution, it is the duty of the treasurer to “present to the Student Government a complete written report of the Government’s financial situation at the beginning of each regular Student Government meeting.” Carrie Bearss said that it is unreasonable to expect to receive a copy at “larger meetings.”

Many actions of Student Government require the approval of the “executive board” and/or the “financial committee” in conjunction with the Enrollment Services and Student Activities Coordinator. These positions are held by the same five people, four of whom are the Student Government elected officers (president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer). So the executive board and the financial committee are in essence one and the same.

Article II also states that it is the duty of the president and the vice president “to enforce the observation of the Constitution.” However, Kaitlyn Graw, the Student Government secretary, stated in interviews following the Nov. 10 all-club meeting that the officers “don’t know where it [the constitution] is. Chuck had it last, at the end of last semester.”

The elected officers receive scholarships for their service. They also hold office hours and a radio show slot on WSGR. According to Graw, the posted hours were changed and are incorrect, and she was unsure when officers would be available in the Student Government office. The radio has also gone unused throughout the Fall semester, according to Dale Merrill, the WSGR Program Director.

Cody Kimball

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