Elon University’s Student Government Association voted 35-9 to ratify proposed changes to the constitution, which would change the structure of the organization, at the Feb. 25 business meeting after two and a half hours of debate.
The vote comes after SGA presented the proposals last Thursday at their Project Task Force meeting. Beginning in the 2022 election cycle, SGA would be structured in three branches: the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The biggest difference would be the establishment of a judicial branch separate from the executive branch, more interaction between the SGA and the student body and an increase in mental health and wellbeing initiatives.
Class of 2022 secretary Jack Corby, a member of the ad hoc committee that oversaw the review of the new proposals, said SGA had spent enough time deliberating the constitution and that the organization was ready for a change in structure.
“Just because this was done quickly to the entire senate doesn’t mean that the process was rushed,” Corby said. “This was definitely not a rushed process. I’ve met more with the ad-hoc committee than I have with the entire senate.”
Some senators were concerned with the speed of the creation of the new constitution. An ad hoc committee worked on the proposal for six weeks this past November and the proposal was discussed at last Thursday’s meeting before going to a vote this week.
Class of 2024 President Andrew Lymm was concerned with the speed of the process of the new constitution’s creation, and pushed for more time before moving forward with the new Constitution that would restructure SGA into three separate branches.
“You just re-evaluated the constitution in six weeks, and then give or take two weeks to look it over. And then, only two hours to deliver,” Lymm said. “Why are we rushing this?”
Daniel Dorociak, the class of 2022 vice president, also urged fellow senators to take their time in looking over the new constitution, and was unsure that newer members understood the impact their vote would have.
“The senators deserve to have enough time to really allow all of us to process it fully and really make suggestions,” Dorociak said. “I spoke with a few younger senators and they didn’t know what was going on.”
School of Communications Senator Jack Taylor encouraged the Senate to table the constitution until the fall, as the new constitution passed would not go into effect until the 2022 SGA election cycle.
“[The changes are] really done in 2023, 2024, 2025 and then eventually 2026,” Taylor said. “I do really think that this should be pushed back to the fall for the 2025 class to vote on because they’re going to be the ones seeing it happen.”
Class of 2024 senator Britt Mobley said the bigger and positive aspects of the new constitution outweighed the timing concerns from other senators.
“We all voted on very large pieces of this constitution,” Mobley said. “I would be leery of shooting down a constitution that has so much good in it for just a couple of small issues that you have.”
During the closing arguments, Campus Programs Senator and freshman Jackson Schubert shared his praise for the ad hoc committee and welcomed the new changes.
“I just want to start off by commending the ad hoc committee because I had no idea how much time and effort each of y’all put into this,” Schubert said. “I just want to say thank you because this is a great piece of legislation.”