Our View: Ratify the Constitutional amendments

CW Editorial Board

Tuesday, in addition to the senatorial and executive races, the student body will be asked to ratify two amendments to the SGA Constitution that will have lasting effects 
on campus.

The first, an amendment to expand the number of First Year Council members from 50 to 65, will provide more opportunities for first-year students to become involved in student government. This board believes the measure will result in an increase in SGA interest and participation, an uptick in qualified candidates, and more closely contested senatorial and executive elections, ensuring that this year’s crowded race will not be an anomaly. As our incoming freshman classes grow, it is only appropriate that the opportunities afforded those students grow accordingly. The Crimson White Editorial Board wholeheartedly endorses 
this amendment.

However, if campus growth necessitates a growth of the FYC, it even more pressingly demands an expansion of the SGA senate, the representative body of students on campus. While student enrollment has increased by the thousands in the preceding decade, the SGA senate has not grown with it. It is of the utmost importance that more opportunities in student government be made available to students on this campus, and that the legislative body appropriately reflect its constituency, particularly in light of the SGA’s traditional lack of diversity and inclusivity. This Board calls on the next senate to propose an amendment expanding the number of electable seats to 65.

This board has reservations concerning the second proposed amendment to the SGA Constitution, regarding a codified block seating system. While we believe it is vitally important to institute a clear block seating system to be consistently applied each year, we believe the proposed system to be unnecessarily convoluted. The proposed amendment, which can be viewed at cw.ua.edu, would institute a committee under the SGA vice president for Student Affairs to choose the council that would eventually choose the block seating occupants. We question whether this level of bureaucracy is necessary, and whether it adequately protects against outside interests (namely, the Machine). While we approve of a full 50 percent of the criteria being dedicated to the empirically measurable GPA, we question the vagaries of the remaining 50 percent, which relies on a student presentation that could highlight any number of qualities. It is precisely this lack of definition that has enabled the block seating 
system to be manipulated and abused 
in the past.

We praise the institution of strict requirements regarding both utilization of and conduct in the block seating section. The Crimson White endorses this amendment, though with reservation, and encourages the incoming vice president of Student Affairs and next year’s board of governors to publish an objective and measurable rubric for block 
seating criteria.

Our View represents the 
consensus of The Crimson White 
Editorial Board.