Students to vote on constitution referendum that redistributes SGA House of Representatives seats

SGA+convenes+in+the+BLUU+Ballroom+this+year+to+follow+COVID-19+guidelines.

HYANG

SGA convenes in the BLUU Ballroom this year to follow COVID-19 guidelines. (Heesoo Yang/Staff Photographer)

By Amelia Crowley

Students can vote on Wednesday on a constitutional referendum that would change how the House seats are distributed in SGA. 

The measure needs at least 50 percent approval to pass. If it carries class representatives will be eliminated and the SGA annual election will move to the fall. The ballot will be emailed to students on Wednesday. 

“It impacts the way student government is composed, the way representatives are voted for and it also moves the election date,” said Luke Fravel, chair of the ad hoc committee on governmental reform. “So, it really just reforms all of the student government.”

There are a total of 56 seats in the house. Currently, 48 seats are devoted to college representatives and the other eight are for class representatives. However, some students are disqualified from running for a certain class because of the number of hours they have earned.

Seat redistribution. Graphic courtesy of Luke Fravel

For example, Fravel said a first-year student entering with 30 credit hours wouldn’t be able to serve as a representative of that class because the student would be classified as a sophomore. TCU distinguishes classes based on hours and not the years that you’ve been at TCU.

It affects who’s representing the student body and how representatives are picked, said Fravel, a sophomore finance major. “It gets rid of the old way of doing things, and overcomes this hurdle that people have when trying to run for seats based on class hours.”

The eight seats will be distributed based on the college population. 

SGA has been trying to get this initiative passed for many years but was held back by the argument of improper representation. This time around, a procedural change of moving the election date from the spring to the fall is included within the referendum to ensure that first-year students have a chance to be in the house. 

Though the initiative is set to fix an ongoing technical issue within SGA, some voters do not see the referendum as necessary to properly represent the student body. 

“I think the way it is now is a better representation of the school,” said sophomore criminal justice major Lizzie Blockhus. “Having representatives from each class is important, especially input from freshmen, as they have four years to go.”