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Sunday, December 10, 2023
The independent student publication of The University at Buffalo, since 1950

SA Constitution Amendments

Streamline With Care

The SA executive board is preparing a resolution that would modify three aspects of SA operations. It would require that both president and vice president elects run on the same ticket, move the annual administration turn-over from May 1 to April 1, and remove Article V, section 5 of the SA constitution, which requires the president's cabinet contain 13 listed officers.

Presidential and vice presidential candidates should run together to ensure an effective administration. These two executive officers work closely to identify and achieve SA's goals. If they are from separate parties and have separate goals, the likelihood that they will be able to accomplish much, if anything, is deeply diminished. It is for this reason that our nation's president and vice president run on a combined ticket, and even they spend the first year of their term becoming used to their offices and one another. Should SA operate under similar principles, its officers will be finishing their terms just as they are becoming most productive.

The ideal executive branch would contain a president and a vice president of the same party and a treasurer from another, providing a mechanism for checking the president's power. This year both SA President Christian Oliver and SA Vice President Joshua Korman are from the Results party. Oliver and Korman have been highly effective thus far, from implementing a functional, timely Web site to quickly organizing free busing to New York City last weekend for students wishing to return home.

Oliver also hopes to move the new administration's inauguration from April 1 to May 1. This change would benefit SA as a whole by allowing each set of officers to see its projects through completion instead of dropping them into the hands of an inexperienced staff just before the close of the academic year.

Oliver also hopes to remove the decade-old restriction in the SA constitution that requires certain offices be included in the president's cabinet.

The constitution currently lists 13 cabinet positions. These include vice president, treasurer, director of external affairs, minority affairs coordinator, and sports club coordinator. Some of these positions are certainly necessary to ensure smooth operation of SA, but others have since become antiquated and are left unfilled. The director of external affairs, for example, is vacant this year, while over 30 other positions have been added to fill needs unforeseen by the authors of SA's constitution.

A constitution maintains a government's integrity by ensuring its continuously operates under clearly defined principles. Although a constitution must evolve with time, SA must be careful in editing its constitution so that they do not disable its ability to guide the administrations in years to come.



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