Student body, government fail each other


Clearly, we need a new system for selecting our student representatives.

It’s obvious that the stale, boring democracy we’ve set in place for students to choose executive officers and senators on the Student Association and Campus Activities Board is outdated. After all, it’s foolish to think people should be bothered with the task of selecting the fellow students responsible for spending much of their peers’ money.

It’s not like the blame should be placed squarely on the students though; SA and CAB go out of their way to avoid contact with the general public, then expect students to suddenly become involved when it’s convenient for their organizations.

Doesn’t the SA wonder why it couldn’t crack triple digits in attendance for any of its Cole Hall forums? It certainly wasn’t out of a lack of interest.

Students couldn’t give a damn about the SA, and neither group has anyone to blame but themselves.

We’ve racked our brains for years trying to figure out where the disconnect is. Our newest theory lies in the fact that students really don’t know what the SA does or how they operate.

Perhaps more time should be spent educating students, from the freshman to graduate levels, on what the SA does. We also encourage the group to hold its meetings in a more public place at a time known by everyone, rather than on Sunday nights when half the student body is returning from home.

And students, you’re clearly at fault here, too: How many articles can we write that explain that the SA controls more than $1 million of your money? Those same student fees that are going to increase today when the Board of Trustees votes to raise them.

If you’re registered for more than 12 credit hours next year, you’re going to pay $1,179.20 per credit hour in student fees and the SA will receive a portion of that money to do with it what it sees fit.

Might we suggest looking over those tuition bills a little closer?

The SA unanimously voted Feb. 10 to allocate $1,100 to itself for the purposes of self-promotion, half of which was spent on T-shirts. Speaker Robert Batey’s explanation, as stated in a Feb. 11 Northern Star article, was “if we make sure [students] are aware of what we do, I believe we can do a better job for the students.”

Do a better job? If the SA wants to do a better job, it could take the $501 it spent on self-promotional T-shirts and use it on … well, anything besides self-promotional T-shirts.

It’s antics like this that make students resentful of the student-operated government that is supposed to represent them. And, as in nationwide politics, the more resentful people become, the less likely they are to participate in the democratic process.

As for CAB, Carrie Underwood’s impending visit to the Convo is a rare victory for an organization that banks on Elmo to draw a big crowd.

So, to assess the situation, we have a student government that wastes students’ money, and we have a student body that doesn’t care.

Hooray for democracy. It was clearly worth fighting for.