Student Government will vote on constitution changes, additions
Wednesday is a big day for Carnegie Mellon’s student government. The Undergraduate Student Senate and Graduate Student Assembly (GSA) will be voting on a number of changes to the student body constitution and its supporting documents that address a variety of current inefficiencies. These changes include the addition of an elected role, the student body vice president of organizations (SBVPO), to the executive branch, as well as the creation of an advisory committee that includes the Student Dormitory Council (SDC) and the Activities Board (AB).
Ruth Poproski, a Ph.D. student in philosophy, joined the President’s Cabinet as constitutional advisor this year with the main intention of taking on this project.
“A major part of this project has been one of clarification and organization,” Poproski said. “Someone should be able to pick up the constitution and understand the role of student government.”
Poproski worked with a committee of five students, in addition to Student Senate, GSA, SDC, AB, and the Office of Student Activities.
Senate is in clear favor of the addition of the SBVPO and an advisory committee with SDC and AB, as seen at last Thursday’s meeting.
The SBVPO will become a position that is part of the student body elections in the spring. The new officer will join the executive branch, whose other members are the student body president, student body vice president, student body vice president of finance, Student Senate chair, and GSA president.
“I think that there needs to be better communication with student government in terms of financing,” said Emily Anderson, a junior decision science and business double major and vice president of the Carnegie Mellon Business Association.
Poproski said the new position will begin to address such issues. “The job of the VPO, in a very general sense, will be to make the situation better and to legitimize the needs of student organizations,” she said.
Poproski mentioned that the addition of an advisory committee that includes SDC and AB will bridge another area lacking connection. “One of the problems that has been acknowledged from several perspectives is the lack of communication and collaboration between student government and SDC,” Poproski said.
Originally, the idea was brought to the table that SDC form an external branch of student government. However, the alternate approach of an advisory committee was considered as a better solution, and AB was added for communication.
Aaron Gross, a junior decision science and H&SS interdisciplinary double major and Student Senate chair, spoke of the possibility of bringing other organizations into the committee.
“At one of our past meetings, someone brought up Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council,” Gross said.
The Panhellenic Council and Interfraternity Council are the governing bodies of the sororities and fraternities on campus, respectively.
These issues are just some of the proposals on the table for Student Senate and GSA to discuss and vote on this Wednesday.