Student government task force to bring new changes to the constitution

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Student government task force to bring new changes to the constitution

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Samantha Guerrero

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Texas State’s Dean of Students pulls together a Student Government task force to write a new constitution for fall 2019.

In April 2018, Dean of Students Margarita Arellano decided the constitution was in need of a complete upgrade after the impeachment of the student body president. This cause a lack of confidence in the way Student Government was run. President Denise Trauth called for a task force to revise the amendments.

According to Arellano, the task force wanted to completely rebuild the constitution. She created the task force of students, faculty and staff to build this new constitution from the ground up.

“We didn’t want to replicate the old document so we started with absolutely nothing and then went line by line,” Arellano said.

The new task force had three goals they wished to make of the new constitution: clarify, amend and add to documents such as the separation of powers, the responsibilities of the cabinet and appointments of senators.

“We have spent many hours reviewing those documents,” Arellano said.

The committee met every other Friday for four hours throughout the fall semester and the beginning of this semester going through the new constitution in order to improve Student Government. They finished the process in March.

According to Coordinator of Special Projects Rico Gonzalez, graduate student, the task force resulted in progressive conversations on how to better Student Government.

“There was a lot of good conversation that happened,” Gonzalez said. “Faculty and students were back and forth with their ideas. Everyone was trying to see what we could do to improve how student government functioned.”

A major problem the task force wished to resolve was the lack of transparency in Student Government. Arellano said it was mute about certain problems.

“There was no information on some issues,” Arellano said. “It was creating many problems so something new was needed.”

The task force also addressed in the constitution the bringing of new members to the Senate in order to ensure that more students are being represented.

President-elect Corey Benbow, a member of the task force, said he feels confident that it will improve participation and student government as a whole.

“The new constitution has had a lot of work put in it,” Benbow said. “I feel as if it will improve Student Government as a whole.”

A major goal of the new document is to bring more students into Student Government and to involve others to take a stand. According to Arellano, the plan was to include student participation.

“People don’t want to participate because they feel as if Student Government works for them,” Benbow said. “You have those who are represented and those who aren’t represented as much. We have added eight seats to generally marginalized populations on campus.”

The task force finished the first draft of their new document in November and they are currently revising as they prepare for next year’s new Student Government officials.

“It has been four years since the last revision,” Gonzalez said. “It has been an amazing opportunity to contribute to the new constitution.”

The constitution is still being processed, but Arellano is planning on uploading the document to the public for their view.

“Things are always changing and things will be different in a few years so we will have to change it again,” Arellano said. “Is it going to be perfect? It will never be perfect.”

For more information, visit Student Government’s website or its Twitter @txstSG.

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