The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Student Government constitution requires further edits, pushing timeline on elections

Photo by Trebor Maitin for The Lafayette
If all goes according to plan, the Student Government hopes to present its constitution to the Board of Trustees in early December.

After it voted to adopt a new constitution and bylaws in September, members of the Student Government anticipated sending their revisions to the faculty and then the Board of Trustees for final approval by October. This timeline has now been postponed after their draft of the constitution was sent back for edits by the Faculty Student Life Committee, a development that will impact Student Government’s plans to hold elections this semester instead of in the spring.

Before the new Student Government constitution can go into effect, it must be approved by the faculty and then the Board of Trustees. The Faculty Student Life Committee must first vote to bring it to the entire faculty for a vote.

Digital Initiatives librarian Janna Avon, who is the chair of the Faculty Student Life Committee, said that a vote has not yet taken place on the document and the committee has sent the draft of the constitution and bylaws back to Student Government so that issues of clarity and wording can be addressed. 

“It’s not that anything unusual has happened or anything unexpected has happened. It’s not that the faculty doesn’t support the changes. It’s just that there are just a few, really quite minor edits,” Avon said.

“It’s just a matter of making the document as pristine and clear as possible as we move it up the chain, which is the role that we play on our committee,” she said. 

According to Fatimata Cham ’23, the vice president of Student Government and member of the Constitution & Bylaws Ad Hoc Committee, her committee is currently working on the revisions. Student Government now plans to present the revised constitution and bylaws to the faculty in November, which would mean that it would not be presented to the Board of Trustees until their Dec. 7 meeting. 

This shift in the timeline will prevent Student Government from implementing its new election structure. Since 2017 Student Government elections have been held in April, but the new constitution calls for general elections to occur in November. Considering that the new constitution will not have the chance to be approved until December, elections won’t be held until after winter break. New member applications and other logistics will be handled this semester, according to Cham. 

“We plan on utilizing this extra allotted time to plan thoroughly, advertise, etc. This should also give potential candidates the opportunity to really think about whether or not they want to run,” she wrote in an email.

Echoing Cham, Student Government Public Relations & Marketing Committee Director Trebor Maitin ’24, who is also a member of the Constitution & Bylaws Ad Hoc Committee, said that this delay offers Student Government more time to organize. He did, however, express some disappointment about the postponement of elections.

“The hope was – at least for me – [that] it’s a big election year on the state and federal level. Wouldn’t it be cool to tie our elections in with that kind of fervor? Obviously, that’s something that won’t exist come January,” Maitin said. 

Noting that she cannot speak on behalf of everyone, Avon said that she expects the new constitution to be supported by the faculty after the edits are complete. She added that it is possible that the Board of Trustees will propose edits to the new constitution and sends it back to Student Government. 

Until that point, Student Government members remain optimistic about the new constitution.

“The reception from both the faculty and the board has been overwhelmingly positive. I think that’ll translate into a seal of approval from both bodies,” Maitin said. 

Disclaimer: Managing Editor Trebor Maitin ’24 is the PR and Marketing director for Student Government and News Editor Emma Chen ’24 is a representative on the Equity and Inclusion Committee. Neither contributed writing or reporting to this story.

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About the Contributors
Nathan Kornfeind
Nathan Kornfeind, Editor-in-Chief
Nathan Kornfeind is a senior from the Lehigh Valley studying  Government & Law and German, with a minor in History. He has been writing for The Lafayette since his first semester on campus. In addition to his role with the newspaper, he is the president of German Club.
Trebor Maitin
Trebor Maitin, Managing Editor
Pennsylvania enthusiast.

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