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SGA will consider changes to Student Supreme Court responsibilities

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SGA will consider changes to Student Supreme Court responsibilities

The Student Government Association will form a committee to analyze the role of the Student Supreme Court and potentially recommend changes.

The ad-hoc committee will be established by a resolution passed Wednesday at the first meeting of the 62nd SGA session. The resolution recommends reevaluating the structure of the supreme court, but does not propose specific changes.

“[The resolution] is a commitment. It’s a way to get the ball rolling on actual change,” said Engineering Senator Matthew Madden, co-author of the resolution and former SGA chief of operations and acting vice president.

In the Legislative Journal, the supreme court’s responsibilities include resolving conflict in interpretations of the journal and acting as a final court for other appeals courts at Wichita State.

The resolution, titled “Commitment to Revitalize the Supreme Court,” states that the 61st Session court “failed to fill those needs in a timely manner, if at all.”

Increasing the court’s regular responsibilities could help them fulfill a greater role in SGA, Madden said.

We need to give the supreme court more to do, so that they have more to do on a weekly basis and they’re never going to have like months of time where they have nothing to do,” he said.

The court is composed of one chief justice and six associate justices, which are filled each fall semester. It currently has two vacant associate justice positions, according to the SGA website.

Veteran Senator Jonathan Miller, who served on the supreme court in the 61st session, offered his support for the resolution — saying it could bring positive change to the court.

“Being a part of the supreme court, it did feel kind of disconnected from the student government,” Miller said. “[The resolution] does have a lot of backbone to it.”

Under the resolution, the committee will be responsible for proposing changes to the supreme court through legislation and earning senate approval by September 2019.

Madden said the committee would also consider input from Student Supreme Court Advisor Neal Allen, SGA advisors, and the cabinet.

“There’s definitely a lot of discussion to be had on the specifics of what this change is going to look like,” Madden said.

In other business Wednesday:

  • Senate authorized the allocation of $5,000 from the SGA auxiliary fund to provide funding for individual requests in the summer.
  • SGA made several appointments to open positions:
    • Lauren Peterson, Aaron Mounts and Grant Day to at-large senator
    • Michael Brown and Anna-Grace Martin to out-of-state senator
    • Marie Flores to underserved senator
    • Sahithi Katha to graduate senator
    • Mackenzie Haas to director of public relations
  • The senate passed a resolution recommending several changes to increase access to information about WSU’s tobacco policy. Those recommendations include requiring information about the policy in syllabi and on the back of sports tickets, as well as increasing the size and amount of tobacco policy signs on campus.

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