USG begins mulling new constitution

By Gus Bode

Factoid:For more information on USG or to become involved, call the office at 536-3381.

Before the semester even gets into full swing, the rules will be changing for the Undergraduate Student Government.

A proposed new constitution was presented to senators during Wednesday night’s meeting, a document that offers up sweeping new changes in almost every area. According to Vice President Nate Brown, who served this summer on the committee that developed the proposed changes, a revised constitution is the only reasonable answer to the overwhelming number of amendments that has surfaced in recent semesters.


“The constitution should be the backbone of your governing body,” Brown said. “It’s in our interest and the interest of the student body to get through this as speedy as possible, but be thorough about it.”

The proposed changes will now go under review by the Internal Affairs Committee beginning today, and the committee’s recommendations will be given to the senators when they meet to discuss the proposed revisions Sept. 22.

The introduction of the proposed constitution was the only substantial business at the governing body’s second meeting of the semester, which drew slightly higher senatorial attendance than last week’s. Convening Wednesday night with 17 senators, 5 more than the meeting before and well over the number required to meet quorum, the meeting ran more smoothly and was adjourned in a little more than an hour.

“There was obviously not a lot of business,” Brown said, “but the senators did an excellent job.”

This is good news for USG executives, who have become frustrated with USG’s limited role in the student body and would like to see USG become a more powerful voice.

President Tequia Hicks said the amount of work she does can be frustrating when compared to the attention it receives, and she compares her problem with an issue faced on national levels:Young people do not vote and do not seem to care.

“There’s a certain amount of apathy,” Hicks said. “I’d like to see students understand what USG is doing. We have direct impact on campus, but if students don’t care enough, we have a problem.”


Hicks’ sentiments were echoed by USG’s newest members, Cody Chullen and Grant Mullen, who were both sworn in Wednesday as senators. For both, this is their first semester at SIUC. Mullen, a freshman in mechanical engineering from Girard, wanted to join simply out of a desire to help change things. Chullen, a junior, served as student government president and student trustee at Rend Lake Community College and wanted to continue his service at SIUC.

As they see it, students are simply uninformed about the issues.

“A lot of students are lackadaisical about that kind of thing,” Chullen said. “It’s a lack of knowledge.”

Mullen said he is enthusiastic to serve.

“I’m just trying to do my duty,” he said. “I’ve noticed things that I think need changed.”

The arrival of new senators brings some optimism to the ranks of USG. Brown said a handful of interested people have come to his office in the last week hoping to become senators, and once the semester gets going with some legislation for senators to chew on, the group will become more vital.

In the meantime, however, Senator TyJuan Cratic stressed to the senate what the most important thing for them to do right now is.

“It’s time for us to go out and speak with the people we represent,” Cratic said. “That’s what we were elected to do.”

USG will next meet at 6 p.m. Sept. 22 in the Renaissance Room on the first floor of the Student Center. Anyone interested is invited to attend.