SGA Amendment to Make Amendments Easier Passes; Will Move to Referendum

via FIU Flickr

Alexander Luzula | Assistant News Director

The Student Government Association is one step closer to simplifying its own constitutional processes and making it easier to amend the SGA Constitution. On Monday, Nov. 6, the SGA Senate passed Bill SB 04 006, known as the Amendments Streamlining Act. 

If enacted, the new legislation would repeal Article XII of the current SGA Constitution and expand student rights by allowing students to submit amendment proposals by filing petitions with either 250 student signatures or 15% of voters in the previous general election, as well as the traditional method of the Senate initiating a bill and passing it with the support of two-thirds of the legislature. The bill also  lowered the required number of senators needed to overturn a veto from a unanimous vote to three-fourths.

The legislation would also lower the necessary approval from voters from ⅔ to ⅗ of all voters. 

The new legislature will also make sure that this and future amendments are enacted immediately, as opposed to the current standards of waiting until the next legislative year. 

The bill was passed by a unanimous 30 ‘yeas’, with no opposition or absences.

President Alexander Sutton is expected to sign the bill on Thursday, Nov. 9, after which it will be put to a referendum on Tuesday, Nov. 28. Students will be given the chance to vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If two-thirds of the electorate approves the legislation, the amendment will be presented to the Interim Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Charlie Andrews. If Andrews approves of the measure, it will be enacted immediately. 

“Essentially, this is a constitutional amendment about constitutional amendments,” said President Sutton in a statement sent to PantherNOW. 

This amendment marks the first amendment successfully passed by the Senate since the current constitution was enacted in February 2021, and is an important milestone for student rights at FIU, according to Sutton.

“I think it’s very monumental and historic that we’re seeing the first referendum of the student body on the constitution since it was put into effect,” said Sutton. “I would strongly encourage all of the students to vote yes on this constitutional amendment so we can finally put democracy back into our student body constitution.”

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