By: Sam Shelton, News Editor
The Towson University student government voted unanimously in favor of revising their constitution April 12, during a weekly general assembly meeting, after the legislation was tabled the week prior.
Drafted by the Student Government Association Senate Rules Committee, President Pro Tempore Omnia Shedid, and later reviewed by the Senate, the document includes responsibilities for a student representing the University’s satellite campus at TU Northeast, the formation of a freshman council, student membership options and the involvement of the Council of Diverse Student Organizations in appointing the SGA’s director of diversity outreach, among other alterations.
“The diversity outreach position is the most controversial and the most important change to the constitution. There are a lot of others, but this is the pivotal one,” Shedid said.
If affirmed by the student body, the constitution will dictate the means by which the position will be filled. The process will begin with a forum held by the CDSO, where groups of diverse and minority background students will be able to voice concerns, opinions and desired qualifications for the director.
Once students apply for the position, the CDSO will work through and interview candidates alongside designated SGA representatives. Once interviews are completed, the CDSO will nominate a minimum of two top choices. The SGA president will then appoint whichever they deem best for the position, according to Shedid.
“We felt as though we gave a lot of voice to the students of diverse and minority backgrounds without taking a lot of power from the process of SGA,” Shedid said. “It’s not just about the power, but it’s about the dynamics and the structure of it. We felt as though we wouldn’t be breaking the system of ‘government.’”
At the April 5 SGA general assembly meeting, the proposed revisions were tabled after an extensive debate, during which some members of SGA voiced problems with the treatment of the director of diversity outreach position. Shedid described the situation as “overwhelming.”
We had to realize as a Rules Committee that it was not on us, it was one reaching a consensus for the SGA,” Shedid said. “For me, I had to take a step back and realize that yes, it got tabled, but this is only for the better and only to get the best document we can present to the student body.”
The student body must ratify the revisions before they can go into effect. The option to vote on the constitutional revisions will appear with candidates names on election material for the upcoming SGA elections April 27-28.
Students can vote on the constitution using the same ballot they use to vote on their representation.
The legislative and executive election is fully uncontested, only four students are running for the four elected executive board positions while 15 are running for the 18 available senatorial positions, according to a list provided by Coordinator for Student Organizations Chris Rindosh, who manages the elections.
According to the list, the judicial race will be contested, with eight students in the running for five justice positions.
On March 22, the SGA voted 14-4 with one abstention to approve revisions to the organization’s Election Policy. Under the revised policy, senators and judicial candidates are prohibited from campaigning, advertising and running together as part of a joint movement, but they can endorse each other through their personal social media.
Election results will be announced April 28 at 5 p.m. in Paws. Look for continuing election coverage and a full story on the results of the election and status of the constitutional revisions in coming editions of The Towerlight.