Recently, the judiciary branch of the Student Government Association underwent multiple structural changes to ensure that proper checks and balances were maintained forsemesters to come.
“We’ve always had a judicial branch, but we’ve actually never had a judicial branch,” said SGA president Ryan Specht.
“Structurally it existed, but it never actually had a jurisdiction or a set of duties that gave people a reason to join, stay, and do things. It really only existed in times of crisis, and even then had very, very, limited ability.”
Geoff Murray, SGA’s Chief of Staff, held a similar viewpoint.
“It gives us the full circle of what should’ve been there all the time; there was just a little piece missing, so we filled in that little piece,” Murray said.
According to Specht, this newly revised judiciary branch serves several purposes. It acts as an impartial elections committee for SGA and hears cases of student organization conduction. The branch also has jurisdiction over student organization constitutions and bi-laws as well as periodically reviewing student organizations status.
Specht maintained that transparency has definitely been a goal.
“We want to make sure that there are appropriate checks and balances with our system, and as SGA is the body that governs student’s organizations, we want to make sure we do so appropriately,” Specht said.
Murray went on to explain that if student government does something wrong, the judicial branch is the point of contact for a student to make a complaint.
“We’re responsible for our constituents, which is the students. Every student here is a member of the student government association, we just have officers who carry out the tasks,” Murray said. “Sometimes the officers may do something, and I don’t believe we’ve done it this year, or last year, or any time recently, but they could overstep their bounds, or make a decision that the students don’t necessarily agree with. The judicial branch gives them that outlet, and gives them a place to file a complaint if they have one.”
Murray also urged students to get involved with SGA and the newly revamped judiciary branch.
“We will have justice positions opening up. There are lots of areas of campus that the judicial branch will actually be touching on, so it’s a great experience for students looking to get involved,” Murray said.
“As always, get involved, in any capacity within your student government, whether that’s joining senate, or just coming to one of our meetings and saying what you think,” Specht said.