Drinking at SA meeting hurts group’s credibility

Imagine how the public would react if it was discovered we were printing The Northern Star from the basement of J.P. Hannigans. We would be working there because they would serve us beer and pizza while we produced the paper.

There would be uproar, even if we did it just one day. All those Star-haters out there would have the perfect opportunity to stick it to us—and rightly so. Here at the Star we are working for the students, and they have the right to expect us to do it in an unincriminating manner.

So yes, if we were found to be drinking on the job, it would be quite expected and appropriate for us to be castigated. We are here to put out a newspaper as best we can—nothing else.

Through consideration of these circumstances, you can imagine my surprise when our Student Association reporters came back from the SA meeting at Hannigan’s Sunday and told me some of the senators had been drinking before and during the meeting.

The SA represents the students of this university in much the same way the Star does. And I would think most students would object to having senators drink while on the job. It’s an assinine concept.

I must say not all senators were drinking at the meeting. Some even voiced objections to the idea. Those senators better understand their own significance as well as the significance of the SA.

Unfortunately, when something of this nature arises, it is also those responsible ones, be they a minority or a majority, who get lost in the shuffle and must share the scorn being directed at the irresponsible. In situations such as these, the fingers are pointed at the group as a whole rather than at individuals.

I am truly disgusted that any members of the SA would find it appropriate to drink liquor during an SA meeting. I don’t care how little they drank. It still shows poorly on them that they drank at all.

Some SA members justified having the meeting at Hannigan’s by saying the change of scenery is refreshing. I cannot quibble with that. Sometimes, there is nothing I would like more. But we cannot produce the Star outside of this building, so….

owever, this change of scenery was a little too extreme and should have been better thought out. When the Hannigan’s meeting was planned last month, there should have been explicit provisions that alcohol was completely off limits prior to and for the duration of the meeting. It was an unnecessary commodity.

The SA provides the student body with an invaluable service, and the student body grants them that responsibility. SA senators should have the common sense to realize the implications of consuming alcohol at meetings. Their credibility, in the eyes of many, must have diminished because of this incident.

We can only hope that those senators who did not drink Sunday will be able to force their obvious common sense on those who did to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

It could be some time before the SA regains credibility in my eyes. And I think I can safely assume there are others out there who would agree with me on that point.

But hopefully, the SA will realize its errors, perhaps reprimand those who drank during the meeting, and get on with business at hand.

They have too much important work to do to be spending time crawling out of embarrassing holes they dig themselves into.

Of course, the fact that there was alcohol at an SA meeting is not the end of the world. I think it’s safe to assume no senators were more interested in getting loaded than dealing with business. But still, the situation lends itself to some amount of doubt.

When you get right down to it, the SA has raised some amount of uncertainty it could have easily avoided.