Op Ed for Traveler Vol. 111, No. 24 (Published March 1st, 2017)
There are two legislative bodies within the Associated Student Government, the Senate which represents all undergraduate students, and the Graduate Student Congress which represents all graduate, law, and professional students. There are issues within the current structure of the Associated Student Government at the University of Arkansas that limit graduate student representation and needs. This is a growing trend at many major universities and the wave of change is soon to follow. Our current structure of two legislative bodies independently representing graduates and undergraduates was created just a few years ago with the intention to make changes as seen fit. One of the issues we have identified is the proportional voting system that was placed on the legislative branch in the early stages of the structure. While the idea seems logical based on the percentage of the student body being represented by each legislative body, it completely diminishes the graduate student voice and gives them virtually no say in the legislative process when it comes to matters affecting all students.
To solve this specific issue, we, the Associated Student Government, proposed and passed a joint bill that strikes the proportional voting system from our body. Instead both groups will pass legislation concerning all students separately in their respective bodies. We see more change coming in the future, but this was a necessary step to smooth the pathway for any upcoming measures.
As this results in a Constitutional change, the student body will be asked to vote on the matter come Monday, March 6th, starting at 9AM. When you see “Do you support Graduate, Law, and Professional students having an equal vote to the ASG Senate?,” we encourage you to vote Yes for the benefit of all students! If you have any questions about the specifics of the Joint Bill, please refer to the ASG website, asg.uark.edu, where the full legislation is listed or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you and Go Hogs,
Because of a communication error between editors, a previous version of this article contained the incorrect text. It has been corrected. The Traveler apologizes for the error and strives for accuracy and clarity in all matters.