The three referendums on this year’s Student Association election ballot, if they pass, won’t dramatically change the lives of students.
Students will have the option of voting for the SA to correct the spelling of the Elliott School of International Affairs, correct the name of the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences and change the name of Senate “rules” to Senate “bylaws” in the SA constitution. These changes are small and won’t change anything about how the SA functions, and students should vote yes on the referendum. The University’s colleges should always be correct and referred to appropriately in official documents – especially in the SA constitution.
The second referendum will update the responsibilities of the vice president for community affairs and the vice president for student activities. If the referendum passes, the vice president of community affairs will work on connecting students and the SA with local groups and issues. And the vice president for student activities will be tasked with connecting student organizations to administrators. The updates to these positions are responsibilities we’d hope the vice president for community affairs and the vice president for student activities do already, so students should vote in favor of the referendum to ensure they do.
Finally, the third referendum on the ballot makes the director of campus operations and the director of diversity and inclusion vice president positions – essentially making them permanent in the SA executive cabinet. This won’t be a big change for the SA, as many past SA presidents have appointed students to these director positions. But by turning the positions into vice presidential posts, the SA will have a consistent reminder of how important diversity and inclusion is and can make sure campus operates with students in mind.
Although we believe that students should vote yes on this measure, a directorship is a good way to see what each SA president wants to focus on. The director of diversity and inclusion position, specifically, was a way to see if an SA president was making diversity and inclusion an important part of their plans. But we understand the importance of these positions and support the change.
The editorial board is composed of Hatchet staff members and operates separately from the newsroom. This week’s piece was written by opinions editor Melissa Holzberg and contributing opinions editor Irene Ly, based on discussions with managing director Eva Palmer, homepage editor Tyler Loveless, contributing sports editor Matt Cullen and copy editor Melissa Schapiro.