Wes McClure talks about the changes in Student Government under the 1969 constitution: students gained an input to budgeting fees, Student Senate mirrored Faculty Senate, the executive became separated from the legislature, and the budgeting process became more accountable.
I’d say the number one thing is giving the students the power to budget for fees, at the various levels and in the various component areas.
In some cases maybe that already in existence but in other cases it wasn’t, like for instance at what we would not call the college level, then the school level, that was not the case.
Secondly we set up the student senate instead of the student legislature, and that was sort to mirror the faculty senate.
So it was part of this idea of being present and being part of this dialogue and being kind of on equal stature so that the student senate and the faculty senate
would each be representing these bodies, so there was symbolism about just even that name.
Secondly we wanted to separate the executive a little more from the legislative so that the president of the student body wasn’t the dominant person in the context of the legislature.
That became the senate president. When I was treasurer and a senator the presiding officer was always the vice president
but the president was always there, proposed things, was kind of a dominant force, so that modified that just a little bit.
But you still throughout, you know, not every position is elected. There are a lot of positions in these various organizations that are appointed,
whether by the student body president or by somebody who appoints their successor. A lot of times the publications kind of work that way,
so the publications board then had some more responsibility for making sure that they were kind of vetting who these candidates were, and the money and so on, to make sure it was used responsibly.
But even before the constitution I had submitted legislation that required that any organization that we gave money to had to keep their accounts in the Student Affairs Office where the student bank was
they couldn’t have them some other place – so they’d be auditable and available. The constitution just really cemented some of those kinds of things,
that budgetary process, the accountability part of it, and again reinforced this academic basis to the representation rather than, say, a residential basis.