GSB discusses new constitution

Tracy Deutmeyer

Members of the Government of the Student Body Constitutional Convention met Sunday to discuss goals they hope to meet when writing the new constitution.

Jamey Hansen, chairman of the convention, said the group discussed ways to develop better communication lines with the student body, a better committee structure and a more active judicial branch.

In the new constitution, the group hopes to clarify the balance of powers and make the constitution easier to read as well, Hansen said.

Hansen said the group, which had enough members present for an official meeting for the third time this year, also discussed the convention’s elections.

Hansen said the convention members must present the constitution to the student body around April 16. He said they are not sure how they will hold the election for the constitution.

“How we run that election is up to us,” Hansen said.

He said they are discussing ideas for the election, including having a booth during Veishea to catch students while they are going to the weekend’s events. Hansen said they have not talked to Veishea executives about the plan.

“What better way to get people to participate than with a party?” Hansen said.

Hansen said 20 percent of the student body must vote in order to have a valid election.

Mike Pogge, the convention representative for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, submitted a possible idea for a draft of the constitution. He said he wrote the draft as an adaptation of the University of Northern Iowa’s student government constitution.

“We submitted this to get some discussion, and it did that effectively,” Pogge said.

Hansen said this draft will not be the next constitution, but the group is looking at the draft to stimulate discussion.

Pogge said the biggest difference with the idea and the present constitution is the vice president would no longer chair the senate.

Pogge said with this draft as a constitution, it would be more difficult to impeach the president. The draft calls for five senators to file impeachment papers against the president, compared to only one senator presently.

Pogge said the draft would also create an interim committee that would be in charge of anything that occurs over the summer.

In other business

*The convention held an Iowa Communication Network session with the student governments from the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa last Thursday. Hansen said the groups met to talk about their own forms of government and their constitutions.

Hansen said several members of the convention and one GSB senator were present at the session.

The next constitutional convention meeting will take place on Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. in the East Student Office Space in the Memorial Union.