Five weeks after the updates from the Town Hall meeting in the Student Life Center, Student Government has yet to schedule a congressional meeting, or update the student body on its new revised constitution.
The Pelican News reached out to Grace Reding, Student Body President, but she declined to comment. The Pelican also reached out to Chris Weingart, Student Body Secretary, but did not receive a response.
There were mixed answers from Congress representatives and Cabinet Members on when the last Student Government meeting took place. Cassidy Van Vooren, New Evangelization representative, said, “We met a couple quarters ago. Though we have kept a regular correspondence since then, and are in the process of scheduling a meeting.” Neil McDonough, Vice President, agreed with Cassidy; they plan on meeting at least once this quarter. According to him, the last time they met was Fall Quarter, 2018.
Taylor Williams, Humanities Representative, said he had not attended a meeting recently. He guessed that the last time they met was in the summer quarter.
“Student Government has also just gone through a lot of changes and are trying to get their legs back underneath them,” said Sophia Flemings, Student Body Historian. When asked what some of the changes to Student Government were, she declined to comment further.
“There’s a whole revised constitution,” said Lidy Connolly, Vice President of Administration. In the new constitution, said Mrs. Connolly, Student Government becomes a “semi-autonomous entity,” where Student Life no longer works alongside Student Government or oversees them. She is taking a “hands off approach. If anybody has a question, issue or concern, I can guide them one way or another,” but apart from that they are left to themselves.
In reviewing the revised constitution, there have been several substantial changes. For one, the impeachment process has been removed. Additionally, they removed the requirement for student government members to “have had no major disciplinary issues within the last 6 months” and to “be a full-time JPCatholic student.” The necessity to be in good academic standing remains. Bills can now be presented anonymously and the minimum number of congress meetings each quarter has decreased from three to two.
“I don’t really know what they do other than plan parties and it feels like more of a club than an actual organization,” said Riley Brown, a student at JPCatholic.
Lana Young, Student Body Treasurer, said, “Student government sadly hasn’t been as active the past couple quarters.” She continued, explaining that she had an optimistic view of the future of the government because of the changes in university administration.
A bill was passed by Student Government on January 14th, regarding extension of hours for apartment dinner. Although, according to Mrs. Connolly, the bill had been on the table for a full year.
Student Government is planning an event, the Singer-Songwriter Night, for February 21st. Student Government will not be hosting a film festival this quarter.
Mrs. Connolly concluded, “I’d like to see them more active, if that is not what is happening then it needs to change again…you [students] have to deal with it.”