The new Student Government constitution was passed on Tuesday, March 31, during the General Assembly meeting with a vote of 43.5 to four, with five people abstaining.
‘Everything changes,’ Andrew Learned, SG President said.
One key change is that there will be no more executive board, but a president, vice president and a cabinet. The cabinet has five fixed members: the treasurer, director of communications, director of programming, the Residence Hall Association president and the Student Commuter Organization president. The SG president and vice president can also add cabinet members as they see fit.
The new constitution also calls for a Judicial Branch which oversees the judicial process by making sure that SG is following the constitution and authoring by-laws and amendments.
UT President Ronald Vaughn still has not approved the new version of the constitution.
‘The main changes gives more of a voice to more people,’ Learned said.
Financially, the new constitution allows SG to be in control of the entire budget of $187,000 compared to the $25,000 that they handle currently.
Financial appropriations can be requested at finance committees, and they will vote on it. Once they pass it, the Senate will make the final decision, but the SG president still holds the right to veto.
The new legislative branch will consist of the General Assembly and a Senate. The General Assembly consists of the current committees, and the Senate is composed of six elected officials, two representatives from each class and the SG vice president.
Totaling 15 members, the Senate will play a major role in the new checks-and-balances system being put in place.
‘Everybody is giving up some to get more,’ Learned said.
The newly-proposed constitution was presented in the General Assembly over a month ago and over 100 changes have been made.
The new constitution, if it is approved by Vaughn, will take effect April 16 after this year’s election cycle.