Student Government members propose excluding political matters from future legislation

Neelam Bohra

Members of Student Government proposed excluding political matters from future legislation at a meeting Tuesday.

Amendment authors Jordan Cope and Samuel Jian Xuan Ng proposed changing the SG constitution to exclude political matters and focus on student affairs. They defined political matters as anything voted on at a municipal state, federal or international level, foreign affairs, court cases outside of the SG Supreme Court and condemnation of any political officials. 

“When SG implements politically motivated legislation, it compromises the free thought on campus by creating a political status quo,” law school representative Cope said. “When we vote on (politics) and it’s published, students who once felt welcomed advancing ideas in class may feel a stronger need to reserve their ideas.” 

Law school student Cope said political matters directly affecting the student body would be exceptions to this rule. Liberal arts representative Ng said this amendment would not censure anyone but would make sure SG does not incorrectly represent the student body. 

“I’ve sensed there are a lot of distractions in SG, one of them being political discussion that firstly does not directly relate to student affairs,” plan II sophomore Ng said. “It could send the wrong signal to the public about what the University actually believes.” 


Student body president Camron Goodman sponsored the amendment and said political beliefs do not relate to work in SG. 

“Many times during the campaign, we were asked about our stance on … things that didn’t pertain to SG at all,” finance senior Goodman said. “My answer was always the same: at SG, we’re focusing on student issues.” 

Goodman said representatives may perceive the amendment as divisive. 

“It’s not meant to shut people up,” Goodman said. “It’s just meant to put some guidelines on what’s being discussed in the assembly, and if we focus more of our time discussing and debating what’s best for the student body … that’s how we can be more effective.” 

Cope said SG is not inherently political, and the amendment will help affirm that.

“There’s nothing that really makes SG a government,” Cope said. “Can we raise taxes? No. Can we raise a military? No. Do we vote on binding matters? No. I would not say we have the power to be considered a political force. I don’t think we’re changing the world, and we’re trying to help refocus SG to realize what exactly our scope is.”