SGA votes to limit administrative power

Nov. 11, 2005, midnight | By Ethan Kuhnhenn | 18 years, 7 months ago

Senate passes ESOL representation amendment and measure curbing principal's ability to remove officers

The SGA discussed the Homecoming Dance and passed two measures in a Senate meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 9. The measures included two amendments, the first of which would establish a new cabinet position for an ESOL representative and the second of which would limit the authority the administration has in removing SGA officers.

Fourteen senators drawn from all four classes were present on Wednesday for the twice-monthly meetings led by Senate President Sebastian Johnson.

The Senate began proceedings by discussing last month's Homecoming Dance, which the SGA staff labeled as a success. Although several minor scuffles and a few dress code violations were reported, administrators had no issues with the way students danced or the dates they brought with them, two problems cited at last year's event.

The Senate then passed an amendment to an SGA bylaw that will reconfigure the current system of class representation to include an additional Executive Board (cabinet) official who would work directly with the president and represent ESOL students from all four grades. The amendment arose after several senators brought up concerns regarding the lack of ESOL representation in the SGA (there are currently no ESOL students in any branches of the student government) and of ESOL students' lack of participation in after-school events. Under the amendment, ESOL students would elect a current ESOL student, or a student who had previously been in the ESOL program, to represent them in the SGA. The amendment also mandates that the Senate approve any new representative.

The Senate closed the meeting by passing an amendment to the SGA constitution that would make it easier for the SGA to protest the removal of an SGA member by an administrator. Under the constitution, the principal has the power to veto any SGA action and remove SGA officers after notification, and, in a clause required to be in every school constitution under MCPS policy, has the ultimate authority over any SGA decision. The proposed amendment strikes down the second clause in that specific section of the constitution, removing the principal's authority to remove SGA officers. "The Senate's interpretation is that our veto clause, which gives the principal final veto power, fulfills county requirements," Johnson wrote in an email.

Under the constitution, all amendments have to pass a 2/3 majority in the Senate, the Cabinet, and the Review Board. Thus far the second amendment has passed both the Senate and the Cabinet. A review board meeting will be held this Thursday, Nov. 17.

The Senate's approval of the amendment comes only a month after Principal Phillip Gainous removed SGA Parliamentarian Jay Asbell for making an "illicit gesture" during a freshman class assembly.

Editor's Note: This story has been corrected since publication. It originally stated incorrectly that the ESOL representative would be a senator, not a member of the Executive Board.

Ethan Kuhnhenn. Ethan Kuhnhenn is a junior in the Communication Arts program and is entering his first year as a SCO staff member. When he's not fishing in his new bass boat, you can probably find him at Taco Bell chilling with his best friend, the cheesy … More »

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