Student Senate to revise student body constitution

Analicia Haynes, Administration Editor

The Student Senate will be voting on revisions added to the student body spring constitution during its meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Arcola-Tuscola Room of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

The revisions were made by the Student Supreme Court and must be voted on by the Student Senate and the student body.

Shirmeen Ahmad, the student body president, said the revisions are more like additions to the constitution because, unlike before, the Student Supreme Court added a student bill of rights.

“There are two main goals for the addition,” Ahmad said. “To get the Student Supreme Court more of a role on campus and to ensure students have different pathways to make sure their voice is heard and their rights aren’t violated.”

Originally, the student body constitution made no mention of the rights held by students, according to the rationale for the additions and revisions.

The addition ensures the protection of students’ rights, Ahmad said, and is in accordance with university disciplinary procedures.

They will also ensure that the Student Supreme Court will have access to judicial review over certain student cases.

Ahmad said by having judicial review, the Student Supreme Court will know what to do in certain cases, be able to handle them and give students a place to go with their problems.

Ahmad said in the past, the Student Supreme Court has not had much of a role and this is a way to get them involved and make sure they are not bypassing original (university) disciplinary processes.

“It puts them on the board,” Ahmad said. “They are another voice for students.”

The bill of rights will consist of five articles and Ahmad said the main focus will be on Article I: Freedom of Expression, Article II: Classroom Rights, and Article III: Due Process.

According to the constitution’s revised preamble, students will have inalienable rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and all rights and protections granted by university policy.

Ahmad said if students feel like their rights that will be protected under the addition of a bill of rights are violated then they can put in a petition.

The Student Supreme Court can then explain the process the student has to go through and whether or not they can represent the student.

The revision was looked at by the university and is more up to date versus the original constitution, which was last updated in 2014 and did not have a bill of rights, Ahmad said.

If the Student Senate approves the revision, it will be sent out with the ballot for the executive positions through email so students can vote.

The Student Senate will also vote on approval of the Red Cross Blood Drive Committee as a registered student organization.

 

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]