On Jan. 19, the Student Government Association declared a referendum for the newly proposed SGA constitution.
Unlike past SGA elections, the polls were only open on that Wednesday, thereby not giving many of our students the opportunity to cast their vote. Also inhibiting the democratic process was the timing of the referendum, particularly due to it being held at the beginning of the semester. It was held at this time so that the Board of Regents could approve the Constitution at its Jan. 26 meeting and give SGA a framework to prepare for the spring SGA elections.
Along with the timing, the document made available to the students via the SGA Web site was not the document approved by SGA at its Nov. 29 meeting. There were inaccuracies in wording, and several sections failed to be included in the online version. The 128 students who voted during the referendum is also a concern.
Only 93 students voted in favor of the Constitution and, if they read the document, did not realize that it was not the one approved by SGA. Still, not even 1 percent of the student body participated in the referendum of the “Student” Government Constitution. Reaching out and educating the student body on important issues like this is something that needs to be addressed in order to better serve the student body.
One clause in the proposed Constitution that rallied up to 200 students to sign a petition against it stated that the president of the university would have the power to amend the students’ constitution without their approval. This defeats the purpose of democracy, which the university is supposed to promote. More students should try to seek the truth on what is going into their constitution and stand against anything that would deny them proper representation. It’s time for everyone to look at the big picture and put students first.
Michael Tobergta is a junior political science major and the chair of NKU Students First. You can e-mail Mike at email@example.com.