On March 16, 2017, during the annual Executive Board elections the student body ratified changes to the SA Constitution that was approved unanimously by Congress in February. They will become effective on May 22, 2017.
The constitution is different from the Management Policies and Procedures which functions the same way as the constitution but is subordinate to it in cases of conflicts and can be amended by Congress without a referendum. Clauses removed from the proposed constitution because they were deemed too arcane for the constitution but still have merit will be moved to the Management Policies and Procedures.
The main reason for the change is to make it more concise, professional, and loophole free. Just a quick look demonstrates that more care was put into writing the new document than the old one. This has indirect benefits such as creating a better appearance for the SA but also more direct benefits such as containing fewer loopholes. For instance, to take a simple example, the current constitution says that certain officers must be in “good academic standing” without defining the term. The new document specifies that means a 2.0 previous semester GPA so that the clause is easier to understand and is not subject to conflicting University definitions.
As a consequence of reworking the document to fit current practices and avoid problems that never should have existed in the first place, the new constitution introduces numerous changes both large and small to the SA. Please read it to learn more about them. While some of the changes were initially contested, amendments were subsequently made and after a thorough public debate the entire document was approved unanimously by Congress before being approved by over 90% of the student body in referendum.