A campus group with ties to the Michigan Student Assembly is looking to make big changes to the MSA Student Compiled Code. The process — which includes redrafting the entire document and seeking support for the final version — began this month.
Last fall, MSA representatives wanted to revise the code through a constitutional convention, but Rackham representative Kate Stenvig raised concerns about the revision, calling the action unconstitutional. Because the document could not be restructured internally, LSA senior and MSA vice president Michael Rorro started Students for Progressive Governance as a grassroots organization to develop a draft.
The group is currently making its second attempt to revamp the document — 26 years after the last full-scale revision. Rorro, chair of S4PG, said the group will have the final document ready by Monday.
The proposed constitution calls for a restructured assembly consisting of a new legislative branch along with the central executive branch already in place.
Changes made to the central executive branch will be designed to increase its “accountability, efficiency and reliability by creating a structured but collaborative environment for committees and commissions,” according to the S4PG website.
Stressing cooperation among committees, the website also states that the new central legislative branch will “shift student government from a culture of isolation to that of collaboration.”
Rorro said S4PG will begin petitioning next Tuesday for signatures in an effort to get the revised document on the student ballot for the MSA elections in March.
S4PG, he said, needs 1,000 signatures by Feb. 17 in order to put the revised constitution up for a campus-wide vote. Rorro said he is optimistic about finishing the document before the upcoming deadline.
“It is almost a complete working document,” Rorro said. “But it still can change.”
Rorro said though the document is pretty much done, the group is still “revising heavily,” adding that they are prioritizing getting a document that students are happy with over meeting the deadline.
“If it comes down to the fact that we are not ready to do it, and there is a lot of contentious debate, then we are going to push it along and maybe do it next year,” he said.
Rorro said he and S4PG member Phillip Zeeck will be listening to opinions from student organizations in a town hall meeting today. A similar meeting held last week detailed the new proposed changes to the constitution. About 20 people — mostly current members of student government — were in attendance.
Obtaining 1,000 signatures could be a huge obstacle to getting the document on the ballot, Rorro said. If revisions to the constitution were made through MSA, the changes could have been resolved internally without votes from the student body.
If the group gets enough signatures and their version of the code makes it on the ballot, then the results from the MSA elections on March 24 will determine whether the proposed revision will be adopted by the assembly.