It has to be dark up there

IUS Horizon

This is the second of a three-part series of columns.

Politicking is a very sensitive game, requiring an intentional balancing of carefully chosen words with properly executed policy.

Unfortunately, the Student Government Association has had some trouble with these rules through the last couple of years.

Whether they’ve tripped over their words, worked to conceal wrongdoings or written legislation unworthy of toilet tissue, they just can’t quite find what their niche is on this campus.

Here it is: Represent the students and address their concerns.

Maybe that’s way too obvious, even for me to point out here. But the Student Life Committee, who oversees the SGA’s budget, has made that argument time and time again and cut their funding consistently for not fulfilling their almost singular purpose on this campus. SGA continues mirroring the responsibilities of other organizations by primarily providing funding for student events.

In all fairness, it’s difficult to represent anyone when they don’t come forward with their concerns. However, SGA’s focus has been somewhere other than reaching out to the student body, mostly on itself and what the administration of the university wants to see from them.

The perennial question from the senate is how to make SGA better, when the answer is always the same: Represent the students. Doing so, however, means standing up to the administration from time to time.

Blasphemy? No sir, it’s just the name of the game.

Sure, SGA is going to claim some kind of victory with the posting of International Standard Book Numbers on IU Bookstore Web sites. That action was set in motion long before they got involved and was decided in federal court, not one of their senate meetings or protests.

Students are, of course, going to come to SGA with some ridiculous ideas and half-witted arguments about how they’ve been wronged by the university, but every now and then, they’re going to have some truly legitimate gripes requiring serious consideration and action.

Such concerns could result in SGA having to stand up to some of the brass in mahogany row’s administration. It’s never easy, but it’s sure to win over the constituency, gain the respect of other organizations and lift the reputation of Student Government.

The sooner they get over this rather egocentric approach to bettering their organization, the more they’ll be able to actually accomplish. Writing bills to cover the cost of hot dogs a month after they’ve been given away is going to leave a taste in student’s mouths like, well, month-old hot dogs.

It’s long past the time for them to pull their heads out of, well, you know where I’m going with this. Once they catch a glimpse of some light, maybe they can finally see what they need to do.

By JEROD CLAPP
Señor Editor
jlclapp@ius.edu