SGA Considers Policy, Constitution

Demerit system for elected, appointed officers; formal adoption of Highland Happenings on table for approval.

Last week the Student Government Association (SGA), the official student-governing body of UVa-Wise, proposed several possible amendments to their Constitution and Policy Book. While these amendments have already passed a vote by the senate, the final say must be determined by the student body.

In an email received by all students last Wednesday, SGA President Cassidy Strange conveyed the need to update the documents by which the organization abides; as of current, he explained, no enforcement system exists to ensure the accountability of the group’s elected and non-elected members. To correct for this, he, backed by the other members of the SGA, presented to the student body the potential addition of a demerit system.

The demerit system, suggested by the group’s executive board and slightly modified by the class senators, if implemented, will feature a “three-strike” process. In this system, members of the senate, cabinet, and executive board will be subject to a demerit if it is determined by the SGA Secretary that he or she has failed to complete one or more expected tasks of his or her position.

Some examples of demerit-worthy behavior, to be stated in the SGA Policy Book and referred to in the SGA Constitution, include the failure to complete mandatory weekly office hours, an unexcused absence or three tardies to an SGA meeting or event, or the failure to complete any other assigned duty. Once three demerits have been accumulated, the member will be removed from his or her position within the organization.

While this system will have the power to dismiss unreliable members if necessary, it will also feature a process to appeal a demerit if a member feels it was given unfairly; this can be done by seeking an executive board pardon. With the exception of the secretary, the executive board, comprised of the president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and advisor, will retain the ability to overturn one demerit per member if they see fit.

Along with the proposed demerit system, the SGA looks to incorporate the adoption and future continuation of the weekly Highland Happenings newsletter and newly penned committee mission statements into the Constitution and Policy Book.

With the specifications of the demerit system now worked out and approved by the SGA, the student body will soon have their opportunity to weigh-in on the matter. Beginning on Monday, November 14th, and continuing throughout the week, the SGA will set up voting stations around campus for students to cast their votes.

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