The Lorain County Community College Student Senate has aspired since the beginning of their elected and appointed term this year to set themselves apart from senates in the years past by providing for students wants and needs in new and unique ways. One of their initiatives this year has been to revise their constitution and create a new and improved version to better serve the general student population.
“We, the student senate, are looking at the constitution and seeing what is old, outdated information and things that are office policies we can modify and streamline,” explained Jaden Cataldo, the senate’s Learning Center Representative who took office at the beginning of this semester. “Pretty much just cleaning it up, making sure we’re following all policies and procedures, and generally abiding by our constitution.”
Constitutions and policies for organizations on campus like the student senate are always in need of revisions, if only to keep in current trend with the needs and desires of the constituents they serve. “I think what made us sort of go, ‘Hey, we need to look at this,’ was that there was an entire section missing,” admitted Carson Moen, senate vice president, “It had the heading, but the whole thing was gone.”
At the first general meeting of the semester the senate passed out a Jan. 27 version of their constitution. Some of the proposed revisions in this version included changing the verbiage of ‘student body’ throughout to ‘Student Government Association’ (SGA) to include all accredited members of the institution with the inclusion of the University Partnership. They also included a raise in the GPA requirement of senators to a minimum of 2.5 for all positions other than president and vice president, which have been raised even higher to a 2.75. Other modifications included a closing of their staff and event planning meetings, policy and procedure revisions, and grammatical fixes. “This is all pending student approval and board approval, though,” emphasized Brendan Bennett, the senate’s executive secretary. “We still have a lot of chain of command, which is why we’re taking so long. We don’t want to just throw something together.” The Jan. 27 version of their constitution can be found online at collegian.lorainccc.edu.
The task of looking over and making a constitution fit for Operation Council and administration approval is designated to the Document Review Committee. This is a senate committee made up of all the members of the current student senate, the manager of Student Life, Selina Gaddis, and Ricky Williams, a current NEOLaunch Net intern and Kent State University Partnership student studying Business Administration and Management. Williams was included into this group as a student perspective and resource. “That way, we have a student here that is not us that knows what he wants,” said Ben Colon-Nieves, senate president.
There is no current timeline set for the development of this new and improved constitution because of the amount of revisions and work necessary. “We had a goal set that we wanted it to be ratified by spring break, but I don’t believe we’re going to be able to get there just because as we’re going through, we’re seeing more and more changes that need to be made,” said Bennett. “Not changes as in we’re liberal and we’re gutting it, but just from a conservative standpoint we want to go with the root SGA intent and revert back to that. We’ve had student senates prior who have had great ideas but just haven’t ever completed them.”
The senate has previously opened discussion about the constitution to students at their general meetings which take place on every other Wednesday of the month from 2:30p.m. to 3:30p.m. in the Early College lunchroom. The next meeting is slated for March 9.