Students to vote on combination of SGA vice president positions

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Editor’s Note: The original post said SGA had already voted to consolidate the positions and has been corrected. Instead, SGA decided to allow students to vote on this topic.

House representatives of TCU’s student government (SGA) voted Oct. 8 to present students with the opportunity to decide on a combination of both vice president positions.

If the constitutional referendum receives more than 50 percent approval, it will be passed and only one vice president position will be on the SGA ballot in the spring.

Students will be able to vote on this, along with three other referendums, on Nov. 1.

Vice president of external affairs is responsible for student organizations, building relationships with them and making sure their needs are met.

Vice president of operations organizes events run by SGA and acts as a liaison between SGA and administration.

Duties of the SGA vice presidents. Graphic courtesy of Tatum Smith

TCU is the only school in the Big 12 with an SGA president, head of the legislature and two vice presidents. 

Vivian Noyd, the chair of the elections and regulations committee, said it is important to look at other school’s student governments to evaluate the effectiveness of TCU’s system and that consolidation is necessary for clarity and concrete productivity. 

“What we believe is that the current system is not the most effective way to represent students,” Noyd said.

Noyd said she worked closely with the vice president of external affairs last year and 90% of the work done in that role wasn’t part of the job description.

Over the coming weeks, SGA will determine which duties are essential to the office and which can be delegated to committees. Vice presidents Ryan Chandler and Ontario Brown will be consulted about which duties should be delegated.

Noyd said the previous two sets of vice presidents said they never had time to work on the projects they were passionate about because they had a checklist of smaller tasks.

SGA does not want vice presidents with checklists of duties, but rather one who can execute the projects on which they run, said Clayton Dana-Bashian, a representative for the Honors College.

Dana-Bashian said this change will increase transparency in the house, transparency of student government and the effectiveness of the job.

“We are not here to say one of these positions isn’t necessary,” said Dana-Bashian. “We are here to say these positions can be done under one umbrella, as long as we are careful and critical about how we spread the responsibilities around the entirety of SGA.” 

He said this measure will give more clarity to the student body, who has previously struggled to differentiate the two vice presidents and their jobs.

Noyd said this decision is more fiscally responsible, as it would mean the reallocation or elimination of some of the budgeted expenses associated with each vice president position.

Dana-Bashian said the fiscal responsibility is a small but important part of this measure.