With the 2011-2012 PSG Elections, students voted to have the new Constitutional amendments approved and added in to the Constitution. The changes have brought about much controversy and conspiracy theories in its first few weeks of existence. One change is the naming of the Pro Tempore changed to the Speaker of the State. Also, seats have become available to students with under thirty credits (in hopes to reduce turnover and allow the younger generation to build into stronger leaders), the Senate now has the ability to overturn any Parliamentarian ruling if they see fit to, there is now one person to overlook underrepresented organizations on campus’ needs, wording and grammar has been improved and fine tuned, as well, among other improvements that have been made to certain sections of the document. The President can dismiss E-board members in lieu of having to impeach them, also. One of the biggest changes, and most discussed, is the fact that all PSG officers must now have a 2.5 GPA in order to hold office.
While some find the new GPA standard worrisome, Parliamentarian David Wilson feels that, “[asking] our student leaders to lead the way in academics seems right. [We] felt that students should focus on academics first and extracurricular activities second.” Because the new officers ran for office under the old Constitution, when they only had to have a 2.0 GPA, there is the worry some may not be able to hold office because the new GPA standard makes them ineligible. If, by chance, the President is found ineligible, the Vice President would take over and appoint a new VP. If any of the Senators are found ineligible, the remaining Senators will approve students who run to fill any vacant seats with a plurality vote. Wilson was asked two weeks ago by the Senators during the Senate meeting to look over the case and decide whether or not the new officers should be grandfathered in under the old Constitution, or made to uphold the new one. He will announce his decision soon.
While the changes do not affect the students in an outright matter, the new Constitution assures that the government has a better structure and “can operate under clear rules so [they] can spend more time…on their interests and not having to fix [their] own rules,” as Wilson states. In other words, the new Constitution makes it so that the Senators and other officials can work on other important issues around campus instead of having to worry about specific wording and language in the document they have sworn to uphold. Section 36.09(5) has also been more refined in order to explicitly state that the government is here to represent students’ issues to the best of their ability.
Wilson hopes the new Constitution will prove to be a valuable asset to the government and assures students that PSG is “too hard at work setting goals for the next year to be caught up in some silly political scheme.” Students are urged to attend Senate meetings at 5 pm on Wednesdays if they would like to get involved or have an issue they feel should be addressed.