Proposed SG reforms address low student input

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Student Government’s internal structure could receive some major changes with a recommendation from the SG Reform Task Force.

The task force voted to approve an outline of its recommendations Tuesday night. Major changes include a condensation of the agency structure, reduction of the number of SG agencies from and the addition of several positions to the legislative body, including a parliamentarian to oversee meeting order, a clerk to take meeting minutes and run logistics and a chair, who would replace the vice president in the role of running the meetings.

“We’re making more opportunities for students to get involved in agencies,” said task force chairwoman Cecilia Lopez. “It will change the structure and create more avenues for students to be involved, because we are recommending that agencies have members and not just directors.”

The recommendations also include suggestions about how to most effectively interact with Senate of College Councils, Graduate Student Assembly, Faculty and Staff councils, registered student organizations and the student body at large.

“Not all student organizations aspire to have a relationship with SG, but we should get interested parties into the same room to talk about what resources SG has and how these organizations can collaborate with SG,” said task force member Mykel Estes.

In a task force meeting last week, Senate members asked the group to consider removing the Academic Affairs Committee from SG because Senate is the student governance organization charged with legislating on academics. However, Lopez said because academics is a part of student life, it would be inappropriate to remove the committee.

“We feel [the Academic Affairs Committee] does fulfill a very useful purpose,” said James Lloyd, a law student and the chairman of the Internal Affairs Subcommittee. “The issues that Academic Affairs will address will not conflict with Senate because they will be issues that are academic but affiliated with student life.”

There is still much that the task force must consider, including defining the judicial branch, determining how the chair of the assembly would function in relation to the executive board, discussing whether to add a freshman representative in the assembly and identifying how to restructure the SG website, which is more than six months out of date.

“We have to approve our main goals and ideas before we can move forward with details,” Lopez said.

The task force must still flesh out its recommendations and write the language that will become part of the SG constitution, bylaws and best practices, pending assembly approval. The group will present the final recommended documents to the assembly before Thanksgiving.