For the end of the fall semester, the constitution committee of the Student Government Association at Oklahoma Christian University is checking the bylaws to improve students’ lives on campus.
Kiva Maxwell, the president of SGA and the chair of the constitution committee, said there are two separate documents the constitution committee works on.
“The constitution committee is responsible for reviewing both the bylaws and the unshaped constitution every year,” Maxwell said. “We’re always making sure that we’re up to date and making sure that our roles are outlined in the Constitution.”
The constitution committee is checking for outdated laws that might need changes. The committee also looks to alter laws to be more effective.
“Amendments are always made to make SGA better,” Maxwell said. “They’re always made to make sure that SGA is fair and accessible and inclusive.”
Trenton Richards, a member of the constitution committee, described why the constitution committee is important to students.
“The constitution committee is important because the constitution and by-laws determine how SGA is run and SGA has a significant impact on the student body,” Richards said. “The committee structure, elections, funding requests, etc. are outlined in the constitution and by-laws.”
The committee has to make sure funding requests and proposals follow the constitution. One of the constitution committee’s most recent changes refocused the vice president’s role on social media and public relations. Another change the committee worked on last year was making the multicultural committee a full-fledged committee of SGA.
One of the most important tasks of the constitution committee is holding elections and making sure the Senate follows the rules during elections.
The constitution committee has multiple discussions to officially create an amendment. After members have a committee meeting, a new idea goes first to executive members of SGA and then to the Senate floor. The Senate and Maxwell discuss proposals. Maxwell brings the proposal back to the committee meeting and repeats the same process until a new idea is settled. After that, SGA members vote on it. If it passes, the amendment will be added to the constitution.
Anyone on campus who is not an executive member of SGA can also suggest new ideas for the constitution.
“We have an open forum where people will be able to provide a suggestion,” Maxwell said. “[The] Constitution is always available for any person to read or look at the SGA website.”
Maxwell said there has not been any change to the constitution this year.
“This semester, we have spent a lot of time reviewing the constitution in the bylaws, so there’s nothing proposed to us, and nothing changes,” Maxwell said. “Sometimes we make amendments every semester, sometimes we don’t, and that’s okay, but there will be some proposed next semester.”
The constitution committee provides the foundation of SGA.
“The constitution committee is … about how SGA is supposed to happen and (how to) help SGA serve the community better,” Maxwell said. “We can advise on how you make an event, this is the mission of the committee, and this is how SGA is supposed to interact with an organization.”
Maxwell said she enjoyed working as both the president of the SGA and the chair of the constitution committee.
“I really like that I get to work with other people on the constitution committee because they have great ideas,” Maxwell said. “They give free positive feedback, and they help me look at the constitution, which I think is imperative.”
Richards said the constitution committee is not like other committees and he enjoyed being a part of it.
“I like the committee because it has a very important task but isn’t as fast paced as some of the other committees since there are no events to be planned,” Richards said. “As someone who plans on going to law school and is specially interested in the US constitution, this committee does exactly the kind of work that I enjoy.”
Maxwell said she wants students to be involved in SGA to make their campus life better.
“Don’t hesitate to reach out to SGA about things we can be doing to help on campus,” Maxwell said. “If you have any comments or views or questions about the constitution, feel free to send me an email.”
The constitution committee always welcomes new opinions from students.
Maxwell’s mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org if anyone has a question or idea for SGA.