Wednesday, October 3, 2007

A Dilemma of Constitutional Proportions

I'm so proud to be able to work with the people I do in Student Government (SGA). They are intelligent, usually well spoken, offer many perspectives and they know their stuff. Part of this I attribute to the fact that I outlined an expectation early in the year that basically says we can fight all we want in the meetings, but once SGA has made a decision I expect everybody to stand behind it. This is a good thing because people don't hesitate to offer differing opinions during discussion.

Tonight however, discussion is on a very serious level. First some information.

There are a couple of classes on campus wherein the purpose is for the students to learn about planing, organizing and producing a program on campus. These programs are anything from the re-occuring bouldering competition, funk-yer-junk bike race ,kayak water polo to the one-time event of speakers or other happenings.

One of the main objectives in the class is to learn, find, and obtain outside funding. For this purpose the department will often reject requests for money. Students are encouraged to go find funding from a variety of different sources. These sources can include, but are not limited to: SGA, Program Council, local businesses, and corporate sponsors.

Now the tricky part. SGA has $3000 set aside for bills each semester. Bills are to help supplement and provide students with various opportunities ranging from conferences, competitions, and programs. However, in the constitution it says this...


Section 1. All students who are currently enrolled in Western State College of Colorado shall pay a yearly Student
Government Association fee to fund non-academic and extracurricular activities, clubs and events."

If a program is open to the public, benefiting excellent non-profit organizations, good for recruitment and retention, do these facts overshadow the fact that this program is being put on because students need the credit? What takes precedance? Is there a grey area?

The issue is going out to the Associated Student Body this week. Voting should happen next week. There is talk about killing the bill before it gets to voting. I'm wondering if I should think about excersizing the option of veto, if the bill passed. Technically, the bill is unconstitutional.

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