The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

DePaul SGA approves new constitution

Gia Clarke
The SGA elected members talk with one another at their meeting on Wednesday, April 10, 2024. This was during a brief break as they wrapped up their executive discussion.

The Student Government Association (SGA) unanimously approved a new constitution and student government code at their April 10 general body meeting. These documents will transform SGA’s current senate-based system into a house of representatives, among other changes.  

Under this new framework, there will be 54 voting seats in the House, with multiple representatives from each college. The number of seats a college is apportioned will be based on enrollment of each college. 

Victoria Tuvaan, SGA executive vice president for Academic affairs, said the new constitution is a positive step forward that will benefit SGA and the whole student body.

“This is the refresh and reset that DePaul’s SGA needed,” Tuvaan said. “I’m happy to be a part of the iteration of SGA that’s finally going to be putting it into play.” 

Avery Schoenholts, SGA vice president, told The DePaulia a revamped constitution was “very necessary.”

“It has been said that SGA’s past constitution was written specifically to push certain people out of their roles, and I think it has succeeded in doing exactly that,” he said. “We have had the highest turnover we’ve seen in several years this year and I think these changes will help address the root causes of that.”

With more student representatives, Schoenhals believes there will be more fair workload distribution, increased productivity and improved representation for all students. 

The Cabinet will be composed of the Student Body President, Vice President, Chief of Staff and selective electoral Chairs of: Academic Affairs, Campus Affairs, Membership, Marketing and Communication and Diversity and Equity. In addition, the Advisor to SGA –non-voting– and up to three additional non-voting members appointed by the President and approved by the House will maintain a position on the Cabinet. 

Will McRae, senator for community and government relations, said that this new structure will provide representatives with a greater ability to sit on and contribute to committees that they are passionate about. 

The creation of the standing Membership and Marketing Committees was approved in tandem with the new code and constitution. 

“These two committees will help address some of the problems like (SGA) having a more active voice and outward presence on campus to the student body,” McRae said. “(They will also) make sure that we have people who are actively participating, want to be in the organization and supported best.” 

In addition, the Facility Operations were merged with the Student Affairs to create the Campus Affairs Committee. McRae said the two previous committees had so much overlap that it was better to be able to focus resources on a more collaborative effort. 

These new committees will work alongside the Diversity and Equity, Academic Affairs and Campus Affairs committees. 

Riley Shuff, senator for third-year students, holds up her paddle to approve a motion to enter discussion at the SGA meeting on Wednesday, April 11, 2024. Discussions were held to approve a new constitution. (Gia Clarke )

Another goal of these documents, McRae said, was for SGA to be more collaborative with and create a direct channel to other student organizations on campus, such as the Office of Student Involvement. 

“We want to make sure that (everyone) has a space in SGA,” McRae said. 

Through a unanimous vote, the Member Retention Ad-Hoc Committee endorsed the new constitution and code. McRae, who serves as chair, said that the concerns identified by the committee have been addressed in these new documents – particularly in concern with residency requirements. More information about this committee’s findings will be released at a later date.

Petition signatures for the elections will open  April 22. All newly created positions will be elected in the Spring, excluding the representatives of first, second, third and fourth-year students. These positions will be filled Fall quarter next year. 

“It’s better to have overrepresentation and open seats to everyone that feels comfortable representing and being a larger voice in their community than having no seats available,” Tuuvan said. “That’s a huge point in SGA right now – making it available to everyone.” 

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