Students are No-Show for BSG Open Forums

Barbara Bell, Contributing Writer

Bucknell Student Government (BSG) held two open forums for student input about the new proposed constitution this past week in regards to the campus wide vote beginning Nov. 3.

These sessions were meant for students to hear directly from the BSG Executive Board to provide an opportunity for open discussion about the proposed changes. The forums were was offered on Oct. 30 and Nov. 3 in the Elaine Langone Center (ELC) Forum. Not a single student attended either session.

The forums were promoted as a way to encourage discussion between the student body and BSG representatives, especially with respect to the input of students after last year’s failed attempt to ratify a new constitution. The lack of turnout at these information sessions sends “questionable” mixed messages to the BSG board, President Loren Jablon ’15 said.

“Students talk about how they want a lot of change,” Jablon said. “It’s clear that they have specific preferences and opinions, yet when BSG opens up a forum and gives them a chance to voice their opinions, no one shows up.”

Class of 2018 President Jeong Woo Seo voiced similar thoughts.

“We should care that no one showed up to the informative panels because the constitution can play a huge role in the overall Bucknell experience during our time here. Students want to see changes because they aren’t happy with a lot of individual aspects of BU, but they don’t make the effort to start the process of creating that change,” Seo said.

Ultimately, the lack of student interest in these information sessions has made it difficult for the BSG Executive Board to bring change through the governing body’s constitution, supervised and coordinated by Vice President of Operations Whitney Tatem ’15.

“Our current constitution is terrible. I felt that it was time to make big changes. We had a good board in place to be able to handle the work, and because we don’t even have on record the last time the constitution was revisited, it was definitely time,” Tatem said. “Most students might not even realize that there is a BSG constitution, but it’s important that we have procedures and structures in place. It helps us run more efficiently, and the more efficiently BSG can run, the better it can address and help the student body.”

To achieve this, Tatem and the Executive Board team reformatted the constitution, removing vague language, inconsistencies, and deciphering “gray areas” of the document. The Board worked with internal issues, like BSG’s financial guidelines for categorizing clubs. BSG also cleared up many operational procedures and revised the constitution to be much clearer.

“We addressed how to fill vacancies when someone has to leave at anytime. In the current constitution, there are loose guidelines about how to address Executive Board vacancies. We’re not sure if they were ever followed,” Jablon said.

Despite the disappointment of the information forums, BSG hopes students will still take action. The constitution was put up for a campus wide election on the IN Network. Students were able to vote online between Nov3 and Nov. 5.

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