Amendment proposed to Whitman constitution


Fourth period delegates will vote on the amendment next month at the meeting. Photo by Lily Friedman.

By Lily Friedman

SGA vice president Ari Neugeboren proposed an amendment to the Whitman constitution at the fourth period delegate meeting Nov. 17 that aims to change the SGA election process. Delegates will vote on the amendment at the meeting next month, with a two-thirds majority required for it to pass.

Neugeboren spearheaded the campaign for the amendment after confusion arose when principal Alan Goodwin and former SGA adviser Sheryl Freedman called for a run-off in last year’s election. Although one candidate received the most votes in the first election, SGA held the run-off between the top two candidates from the initial election because none of the eight candidates received close to a majority of votes. The end result was that different candidates won in the original and run-off elections, causing controversy.

“What happened in the last election was unexpected and we want to avoid uncertainty in the election process,” Neugeboren said. “The goal of the amendment is to make elections more fair and the process more transparent so SGA knows what to do in elections with unforeseen consequences.”

A county constitution expert approved the amendment before SGA presented it at the delegate meeting, Neugeboren said.

The amendment features six clauses, four of which differ from the current constitution.

Provisions include nullifying voting results in the case of a technical glitch, adding additional voting time for absentee students and concealing election results from the principal and SGA executive board until SGA announces results the following morning.

SGA sponsor Laurie Safran supports reform efforts because it is their responsibility to change policy as necessary, she said.

“We’re supposed to look over the constitution as the SGA to make sure everything makes sense and we’re adhering to everything. The amendment really clarifies what happened last year,” Safran said.

The Whitman constitution is now available in the library and the amendment is subject to change based on student and teacher feedback.

Full text of the Whitman Constitution:

Full text of the Constituional Amendment: