SG restructures agencies, reinforces judicial branch

Audrey White

Student Government passed a set of broad reforms to its internal structure and external operations in its first meeting of the semester Tuesday.

An SG Internal Reform Task Force began work over the summer to create a series of changes to SG’s constitution and bylaws, including the rejuvenation of the judicial branch, added positions to the assembly and increased efficiency in the agency system, the primary structure for outreach and student programming. “

"Hopefully, this will start an ongoing process of reform and create more ways for students to interact with SG and make SG more accountable,”" said the task force’s chair, Cecilia Lopez, a higher education administration graduate student. “"I didn’t think we were going to be able to accomplish as much as we did in the time that we had."”

"The task force’s recommendations helped fulfill campaign promises that SG President Scott Parks made during the February 2010 campaign season," Student Government President Scott Parks said. "“Something that we campaigned on a lot was our agency structure, and this provides a much more efficient and sustainable organizational structure for our agencies,” he said. “We'’ll be able to program better for students and get better turnout at programs students are interested in attending."”

"The new agency organization will allow for more extensive recruitment of students who are not already involved with SG," Lopez said. "“When students ask how to get involved, [SG members] will have more to say than just to come to a meeting,"” she said.

The reform also creates several positions within the assembly, including the creation of a clerk position to take minutes and manage meetings’ logistics and an assembly chair who will run the meetings, a role the vice president currently fulfills. The new constitution also includes the creation of two first-year seats, which freshmen, first-year transfer students and first-year graduate students would be eligible to run for each fall.

Because SG approved the reform, it has to go before a campus-wide vote. SG will hold a special election to approve the reform on Feb. 9 and 10 so that students can elect the 2010-11 executive and assembly members under the new SG constitution during the March general election.

During the meeting, SG also appointed a new University-wide representative to fill the seat that business senior Alex Greenberg vacated at the end of the fall semester. Government junior Yaman Desai will take the seat. Desai is involved with University Democrats and was part of the Internal Reform Task Force.