SGA ballots are unconstitutional
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 15, 2013 17:03
The Student Government Association held an election that was not based on their constitution.
SGA elections started Thursday, March 14, at 1 p.m. and closed for the day at 5 p.m. On Friday, March 15, voting resumed at 9 a.m. and closed at 5 p.m. Unlike in previous years, the voting process was held in booths that were available for students to cast their votes in the Peace Quad.
Twenty elected seats are outlined in the current constitution during the spring elections. However, only eight will be on the ballots.
The college president positions and the Senator-at-Large positions were not voted on during the election.
Four freshman senator seats are outlined in the constitution to be voted on during fall elections. However, the proposed constitution eliminated these four freshman senator positions.
The freshman class remains the majority of the Loyola student population with 893 enrolled students, according to Loyola University New Orleans website.
Although the constitution isn’t yet approved, SGA will be following the guidelines of a non-approved constitution for the upcoming election.
Michael Falotico, SGA executive vice president, said in two recent SGA Senate meetings that all current SGA senators will remain active senators until April, as the transitional period will take effect after the elections.
“The changes of the constitution will be for the better of the student government and therefore the constituents,” Falotico said.
According to the Loyola SGA Facebook page, the constitutional referendum will be broken up into parts.
“Each proposed change will receive a separate vote. The referendums on the ballot will be concerning: Merger of University Programming Board with Student Government Association, restructure of Senate from 24 Senators to eight Senators, separation of Judicial Branch and Court of Review; restructure from nine Justices five Justices, addition of Finance Committee, and addition of Associates Program.”
Also, SGA did not make the election code available online to students. The proposed constitution said, “Refer to the election code,” according to article IX, section 9.03.
If constitutional changes fail, SGA will run a second election.
Courtney Williams, assistant director of campus events and SGA adviser, said, “In order to have the potential new Constitution be effective if passed, the elections must reflect how the SGA is going to be. However, we do understand that there is the potential for the revised Constitution to not pass in campus wide referendum. Therefore, if the Constitution does not pass, we will hold a second election in order to fill the vacancies left by the changes.”
The current constitution does outline procedures to be followed for constitutional amendments, but it does not mention anything about a second election.
Lucy Dieckhaus can be reached at email@example.com