SGA putting proposal for unicameral system on general elections ballot
The Student Government Association is moving forward with a proposal to transform the SGA into a unicameral system, combining the senate and the house so the two will no longer be separate entities.
The proposal will be included on the ballot in the general elections, where it would pass with a majority vote. The general elections will be held from March 12-16, and students can vote online at vote.cmich.edu.
The change will effectively make both the legislative and the executive branch smaller.
"Most universities only have a unicameral system." said SGA Vice President and Brighton junior Colleen McNeely. "We have the largest government of any college in the state."
McNeely said SGA is not only the largest student government in the state, but disportionately so, being three times larger than the next largest. McNeely said SGA's size has caused significant problems.
"It would really help to go down in size," she said. "We don't have enough people show up to the meetings. We often have too many empty chairs."
A unicameral system would completely redesign SGA, combining some positions and redefining the roles of others. The senatorial body would be condensed to 15 senators and one senate leader. Six senators would represent student demographics and the residence halls, and the other eight would represent the student body as a whole.
McNeely said SGA is working to keep the layout as familiar as possible if the proposal passes.
"Most of the committees our members participate in will remain the same," McNeely said.
SGA President and Shelby Township senior Vince Cavataio said there are some new issues that come with the proposed change to a unicameral system.
"Although a unicameral system will shrink the government, it will make for a more populated meeting," Cavataio said. "One of the chief concerns is that voices will be drowned out."
Cavataio said he believes the benefits of the change would outweigh the negatives.
"It will make for a smaller, more gung-ho group, more able to reach RSOs and make an impact on campus," he said.
McNeely said she promises meetings will remain open to the student body if the proposal passes.
"Any student will still be able to attend meetings and present legislation" McNeely said . "We will still retain our connection to the community"