New constitution is step in right direction

New constitution is step in right direction

by David Morain

The students of Simpson College voted yesterday on a new constitution for the student government. Going under the new designation as the Simpson College Student Government Association, the new constitution looks to give more power to the students in a more democratized method.

I am impressed with the new constitution for one main reason: it gets rid of the archaic practice of automatically giving representative voting seats to delegates from certain organizations. This seems to be the most logical thing to happen in the Senate in quite some time.

Representatives from each of the classes will make up the majority of the voting seats. No longer will groups such as CAB and RLC have an automatic say in the affairs of student government. If you ask me, this correction was long overdue. How can the student government allocate money to groups such as these while still trying to maintain impartiality when said groups have an automatic vote? It would be the same as giving the U.S. Defense Department a voting seat in the senate.

I have been here for four years, and every fall there is always a squabble in the student government over how to best use the funds at our disposal. More often than not, CAB and RLC were the winners while smaller organizations such as KSTM were shut out. I realize that CAB and RLC are two of the largest groups on campus and they need more money than most; however, it seems apparent that the distribution of funds might not always be unbiased when those voting on a budget have vested interests in the outcome. Thanks to the new constitution, this will hopefully be amended.

This being said, I do have a problem with the way in which the public was informed of the vote on Tuesday. All around campus and in our e-mail boxes we found messages telling us to vote yes on the new constitution. These were distributed by members of the student government, which signals to me a complete undermining of the democratic ideals the institution so desperately wants to uphold.

I applaud the efforts of the student government to inform the public of the recent vote. I do not, however, agree with its decision to notify the students as well as telling them which way to vote. If there had been an independent organization or group of students that had put up signs in favor of the constitution, that would have been much more ethical.

I believe the SGA is on its way to becoming more recognized and respected on campus. It has great ideas and fair leadership, thanks to a variety of voices and viewpoints found within. With the new constitution in place, it should ensure that the students of Simpson College, not the organizations, will make the decisions that shape our institution for years to come.