Two burgers, one vote?

Something’s got to be wrong when a university’s Student Association senators have to be lulled by burgers in order to attend meetings. Each meeting would begin with the pounding of a ketchup bottle and “Two burgers for a vote!”

It hasn’t happened yet. But just the fact that the SA has to consider offering senators perks like discounts on food at the Center Cafe to get them to go to meetings is a pretty sad reflection on NIU’s student government system. If they’re going to do it, they might as well go all the way and offer catered meals from the Hillside.

The SA has been brainstorming this year to come up with incentives that will encourage its members to take part in activities. They have decided to implement some new responsibilities, like requiring them to sit on committees and participate in SA events, making them more accountable to the electorate. In other words, the SA is attempting to get its members to do their jobs this year.

SA Public Relations Adviser Anna Bicanic said Sunday the SA has “never had a problem with senators not knowing what’s going on, not getting involved in the system or not showing up.”

Maybe somebody ought to wake her up—feed her some pasta or something. Why is the SA racking its brains to try to entice its members to come to meetings if it’s not worried about attendance?

Last year, a majority of senators failed to attend a meeting that fell on the same day as the Super Bowl. This slacking off by senators who obviously had more important things to do—like watch the kickoff—left the senate with no quorum and no ability to approve some serious business.

The poor attendance of meetings last year also caused NIU to lose Saturday Night Live comedian Kevin Nelson. Because organizations had to wait for the funding of the event to be approved by the SA, NIU lost its chance at the comedian.

How is the SA supposed to be taken seriously by students, the administration and higher education officials if its members would rather watch football than attend meetings? When members don’t show up, the student body is not fully represented and the SA is virtually pointless.

The SA serves as the voice for students on this campus and when its members don’t show, students are voiceless. Members should take pride in their positions.

It’s a new senate this year and hopefully, by dredging up the past and remembering it, its members will make some improvements. We just hope this doesn’t take extra pickles and extra cheese.