Editorial: New SGA constitution threatens to breed a SGA dictatorship
SGA doesn't want to steal your voice. They want to trick you into giving it to them.
A new constitution has been drafted by SGA, but this is most likely the first time you've heard about it, because they didn't want you to.
They didn't want The Maroon to know about it either. But thanks to a noble and concerned member of SGA's inner circle, we got a leaked copy, and we started asking questions about it. After reading it, we had some concerns, too.
The latest draft of this mysterious constitution cuts Senate seats, college presidents, freshman senators and the house of representatives. In their place it creates appointed positions, literally stealing power away from the students and giving it to the executive board.
These cuts not only leave most students with inadequate representation, but completely disenfranchise the entire freshman class. Without any representation, the students who typically require the most attention are the ones who are getting their voices most harshly removed.
Now, SGA executives assure us that they may appoint a freshman voice to the new body. But the new constitution doesn't require it.
Are we supposed to take their promise that they might give a voice to a quarter of our community?
What SGA has apparently decided is that as a student body, we aren't intelligent enough to select our own representatives. SGA would rather hand pick appointees for us.
An appointment process is not a solution - it's nepotism.
There is no system to stop these appointees from remaining in office no matter how poorly they represent the students, only the promise that our few elected officials left will remove them, a promise that they've already proven they can't keep.
If the Senate is apparently doing
such an unwieldy job, where are the impeachments now? SGA has tools it can use to manage, discipline and communicate with its membership. Apparently, it's just not using them.
SGA wants to slash the ranks of Senate because they say the current Senate, with its 24 senators, is unmanageable. They say the senators aren't committed. They say Loyola students just can't be motivated to care. But see, it's not impossible to run a large organization efficiently at Loyola. LUCAP, Phi Kappa Psi, Delta Gamma and BSU all have more than 25 members, and those members are involved on campus, and those students are motivated to fulfill their duties as members. While each organization has its own hierarchy and constitution, they all have one thing in common: strong leaders.
The problem SGA is trying to address is one of accountability. But you don't solve a problem by eliminating it. You don't heal a broken leg by cutting it off, and you don't cure a sore throat by ripping out your vocal cords.
SGA's executive board is apparently assuming that if elected officials have failed in their duties, it's because they were elected. The real issue is that the current executive board isn't holding its members accountable. If they aren't using the current system to hold their members accountable, we shouldn't think that a new system would be any different.
The fact that this new draft was written behind closed doors only proves the failure of the executive board. Students were not allowed to sit in and watch their elected officials legislate because, we were told, some SGA members are afraid to speak openly about what they do in front of those who elected them.
They should be afraid.
The new constitution shows that our own executive board has failed to lead and, as a result, our elected representatives have failed to
represent, and we as their constituents should be enraged. The SGA executive board's plan appears clear: Take the power away from students before they can use it. The only problem is that we have to willingly give up our voice in order to lose it.
SGA has gone to a lot of trouble to make sure you don't know about their new constitution because they assume you'll blindly vote for anything they put on a ballot.
Prove them wrong.
Show SGA that we give them more than money - we give them power. Vote against this new constitution and hold responsible those who have failed at their positions by voting them out of office.
Don't misinterpret this call to action as anti-SGA. We have the utmost respect for the members and professionals in our student government. Their successes are all around us in everything from the annual Loup Garou concert to the very water we drink. They have a noble cause and contribute to almost everything around us. The fault is not in the majority of SGA members. The fault belongs squarely on the shoulders of the select few leaders who are practicing back-room politics.
Vote no for the proposed constitution and vote no for all those who are covertly trying to rob you of your rights, your power and your voice. Because, even though some people won't read the new constitution, and some won't even vote, we will all pay for it in the end.
This editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board named above.
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