Several amendments to the Student Government (SG) Constitution were passed in a university-wide referendum that ended on Thursday.
Students had the opportunity to vote on two Constitutional issues: one on granting students on Extended-College Status full membership in the Student Association, thereby giving them ballots in future SG elections, and a second on a package of technical amendments that clarified ambiguities and loopholes in existing governing documents.
SG unanimously passed a resolution on January 30 to host the referendum. This is the first Constitutional Referendum conducted since 2010.
According to SG Parliamentarian Max Freedman, a total of 1,230 students voted on the referendum, among whom 626 were undergraduates and 604 were graduates.
The amendment granting students on Extended-College Status full membership in the Student Association was passed with 86.6% of the votes in favor and 13.4% of the votes in opposition. The omnibus package of technical amendments was also passed with 83.4% of the votes in favor and 16.6% of the votes in opposition. In both cases, abstentions did not count toward the passage of the referendum.
According to Freedman, 84 students – among whom 28 were undergraduates and 56 were graduates – abstained from taking a stance on the first question concerning Extended-College Status students. For the second question regarding technical amendments, 288 students – 141 undergraduates and 147 graduates – abstained from taking a stance.
Freedman noted in an email to The Maroon that the turnout for this referendum was significantly lower when compared to the 3969 students who voted in the General Election last Spring. However, he explained that this should not be interpreted as an indictment of the importance of the referendum itself.
“[The turnout] is indicative of the fact that it was not particularly controversial and was perhaps too technically focused to be interesting to students at large. [However], that doesn’t mean it wasn’t important. To the contrary, it is very important for SG to have an up-to-date and cogent set of Governing Documents,” Freedman wrote.