Special election on SG overhaul may lead to constitution reform

Yvonne Marquez

The campus-wide special election to overhaul all three branches of Student Government ends today.

Voting for the reformed constitution began Wednesday after the SG Reform Task Force worked for seven months to improve the efficiency and impact of SG’s constitution.

Task force chairwoman Cecilia Lopez said there has not been a reform this big for more than 30 years. She said it’s a significant step for SG to move forward and be more productive.

Amendments to the SG’s constitution would restructure their external agencies, add first-year representatives to improve new student representation and improve each branch.

“We’re hoping with this structure that we can keep Student Government more accountable,” Lopez said. “It creates a balance between the branches.”

Lopez said she is excited about consolidating and restructuring the agencies because it will generate more involvement of students.

“We’re hoping they will recruit new members to make it an avenue for students to get involved with Student Government,” Lopez said.

There were many agencies that one person oversaw, so it was not manageable, SG president Scott Parks said. He said through the reform, SG would add another layer of leadership between their chief of staff and all agencies. Parks said that hopefully this way, agencies would be more effective to produce more programs that serve students.

“With a more compact and refined organizational structure, we’ll be able to find more efficiencies with the way were spending money,” Parks said. “With fewer agencies, we’ll be able to focus resources on programs that have the highest impact on students.”

Natalie Butler, a University-wide representative and one of five candidates who have filed to run for 2011-2012 SG president, said she hopes students will educate themselves on the reform and vote for it.

“There is a lot of information available to [students] if they want to educate themselves,” Butler said. “When you log in to vote, you can look at all the changes or a summary. There’s even advertising on Facebook to read.”

If students approve the reforms, they will be the governing rules for the SG assembly and executives elected in March. The period in which students could file to run for office ended Feb. 8, except for architecture, geosciences and graduate school representatives. The Election Supervisory Board extended the deadline to run for those three positions to Friday.