When students vote during the upcoming Student Association elections, they’ll have three referendums to consider that would make internal changes to the governing body.
Earlier this month, the SA Senate unanimously voted to add the measures to the ballot – one to make minor language updates to the constitution, the other two to change the titles and responsibilities of four executive cabinet positions. SA President Erika Feinman said although the referendums won’t directly impact students outside the SA, they could improve organization within the senate and clarify positions’ responsibilities.
The first referendum would bump up the director of campus operations and director of diversity and inclusion to vice presidential positions, essentially making them permanent on the SA. Director positions can be added or removed at the discretion of the SA president.
“SA presidents have the ability to add or remove the directorship positions at any time and we felt that they were too important to be subjected to that,” Feinman said.
The role of director of campus operations would be expanded into a vice president position to oversee the fourth floor student organizations office and storage spaces. The position currently handles day-to-day issues with services like 4RIDE and the blue security lights across campus.
The role of director of diversity and inclusion would also be expanded into a vice president position, providing the student perspective for the Multicultural Student Services Center and having senate oversight on diversity-related policies.
An additional referendum was unanimously approved and will update the powers of two more executive cabinet positions – the vice president for community affairs and the vice president for student activities.
Under the referendum, the vice president for student activities will connect student organizations to administrators. The vice president for community affairs will work on connecting the SA and students to D.C. groups and local issues.
“It’s important that students have someone there for them when things go awry on a day to day basis,” Feinman said. “We feel that it’s important to have this oversight on someone.”
The final referendum on this year’s ballot will fix grammatical errors in the SA constitution. These errors include the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences being referred to as the “Columbian School of Arts and Sciences,” punctuation errors and “Senate rules” being changed to “Senate bylaws.”
Feinman pointed to fixing the current misspelling of the Elliott School of International Affairs in the constitution, which reads “Elliot,” saying the change is a measure of respect for students in the school.