Mount St. Mary’s Student Government Association (SGA) has hired a constitutional consultant to review and transition SGA’s constitution from a multilateral form of governance to a unicameral parliamentary body to increase its efficiency.
“We picked the unicameral government structure on the advisement of our consultant, who has seen this structure be most successful at small liberal arts schools like the Mount, and are hopeful that the changes will ultimately aid our SGA in being the best it can be in being the voice for all students on campus,” explains SGA Executive Vice President Aimee Solano.
The new body would consist of a student body president, an advisor and a legislative body of “SGA Members at-Large” representatives based on a pro rata amount. Pro rata means that the number of representatives would be determined by the number of students enrolled, resulting in 1:75 proportion. Also, a vice president, an executive secretary, a treasurer and a recording secretary would be internally elected and restricted to a two-term limit.
“This structure change is a very promising, and in my opinion much needed, change to the basic running, procedures, and powers of the SGA,” says Senior Class Vice President Vincent Rapposelli. “It represents the student body more holistically and gives students the proper voice in the school and in President Trainor’s plans for a new shared governance.”
Currently the SGA consists of the executive board, class officers, advisory boards and general assembly. The executive board consists of four officers which include a president, a vice president, a secretary and a treasurer. Elections for the executive board involve the creation of a four person “ticket,” which is eligible for re-election each spring. In addition, the class officers’ positions also create four-person “tickets,” eligible for re-election each spring. Both the board and the officers are elected by the student body.
Additionally, the advisory board consists of appointed positions with voting rights, chosen by the SGA, who serve the duration of an academic year. Committees include the Academic Affairs Committee, the Athletics and Recreational Services Committee, the Faith and Ministry Committee, the Information Technology Committee, the Communications Committee, the Student Affairs Committee, the Student Affairs Committee and Campus Stewardship. Members of the general assembly are granted a position known as “SGA Member-at-Large,” after attending three meetings. While these positions hold no voting rights, they are necessary proponents to disseminate important information to the student body.
With the writing of this new constitution, the new delegation of power will provide clearer roles, allow greater unification among classes, improve time organization and give the student body greater say in their elected officials. To obtain insights and updates on the progress toward this new constitution, students are encouraged to attend SGA meetings held at 9 p.m. on Tuesdays in Laughlin Auditorium.