The Student Association is still working hard to appoint and fill vacant positions within its organization as the semester progresses.
Last week, the SA appointed three students to the constitutional legislation committee, who then gave a presentation to the Executive Council this week, outlining their goals for the future legislation and Constitution.
The constitutional legislation committee, composed of Plattsburgh State students Adam Saccardi, Kevin Clayton and Tyler Hargraves, was formed in order to help implement and transition the ratification of the new SA Constitution. This will benefit the upcoming 55th legislation, which will take office in January 2017.
The new bylaws will also take effect on January 2017 but still need to be approved by the current 54th legislation. The bylaws are efficient because they can be changed or modified more quickly than amendments in the Constitution. Saccardi said the amendments can take years to change, whereas bylaws can change every year. This ensures that the SA can meet the needs of the changing student body and SA more quickly.
The committee’s presentation said rules and regulations, such as GPA requirements for SA members will be changed into bylaws, making it easier to adjust them as needed for the student body.
With the new bylaws, the Executive Council will be able to add, modify, and remove vice president positions if needed. Saccardi said some positions may become outdated or need new titles to better accommodate needs of students as they change over time.
Through new bylaws, the SA will also adjust powers among the Executive Council and senators. The Executive Council will be able to create, modify and abolish committees, create new appointed positions and set policies for the Executive Council as well.
The Senate will have the same basis of powers, but the committee is working to restructure a new type of legislation. The Senate will also be able to set policies for clubs, make SA rules and modify positions in the Senate, if needed.
Members of the 55th Legislation Executive Council will use the bylaws to express the opinions of its students in a more formalized, but timely, manner.
The bylaws and new constitution will make the roles of the Student Court and board of elections more formalized, according to the presentation, and position holders will be more accountable for their work and responsibilities to the students.
PSUC senior and history, political science and economics triple major Adam Saccardi said the committee’s main responsibility is to pass bylaws to accompany the constitution. He said he felt some of the constitution was “left vague and undefined,” so the committee will work to add more substance to the laws by creating and adding the bylaws.
Saccardi said the new bylaws will give the SA government more flexibility.
The committee said in a presentation they “are not here to create new content,” but to “reorganize and format existing content.”
Saccardi said that being a part of the committee has been a good experience for him. The committee will be responsible for attending weekly adviser meetings, Executive Council meetings and Senate meetings. They will spend numerous hours per week outside of meetings, working to improve the Constitution.
SA Adviser Jacob Avery said the committee is important for the SA.
While the new bylaws will not directly affect current students, they will affect future students and SA legislations.
Aside from the constitutional legislation committee, the SA also appointed committee member Tyler Hargraves as “webmaster,” making him responsible for redesigning and updating the SA website and social media accounts.
Hargraves, who helped redevelop the SA website last semester, also served as a senator for the previous legislation. While also serving on the constitutional legislation committee, he will be responsible for updating the SA calendar of events and various SA social media accounts.
For this semester, Hargraves hopes to establish formal email addresses for each club and organization on campus. He also hopes to create a universal calendar for club and SA events.
Hargraves encourages clubs and organizations to contact him if they have any ideas for advertising, media or outreach.
Aside from appointing of the constitutional legislation committee, Kimmer delivered the president’s report and discussed the possibility of holding voter registration drives throughout the semester to encourage students to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election.
Kimmer is also hoping to create political advocacy groups on campus, to provide students who are passionate on their views a voice and an outlet to express themselves.
The SA also took time throughout the meeting to handle procedural issues such as office rules and establishment of a basic structure as to how meetings will run in the future.
As for the rest of the SA meeting, President Michael Kimmer said it was “so much smoother” than their first meeting of the semester.
“We were able to accomplish more and work more efficiently,” Kimmer said.
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