New dogs, old tricks

IUS Horizon

For those of you who paid student activity fees this semester, the Student Government Association just took an hour of your time and you’ll never get to know what was done during those 60 minutes.

By way of a unanimous vote, the senate took an hour-long executive session at their meeting on Thursday, April 2. If you had something to say to SGA last week, you would have been kicked out of their meeting and forced to wait outside until they finished whatever they should have been doing publicly anyway.

Even some of the senators who had championed a cause to, more or less, eliminate executive sessions, voted to kick everyone else out. I’m disappointed in them.

Most likely, they were nominating and voting on new officers within the group, such as their senate chair and other positions, since those seats were left open right after the election ended.

Also, they tabled the rest of their business until the April 9 meeting, and they wonder why nothing gets done.

If you’re not, you should be infuriated.

The positions held by officers in SGA are paid. They may not get a lot of money, but students still pay these people in positions of authority. The student body has the right to know why they did or didn’t get the job and SGA has an obligation to keep the public’s business public. 

By keeping this information to itself, SGA is denying the people it serves and represents the basic right to contest whether they think a person is fit for a job in the senate. That’s appalling.

Sure, it’s intimidating to have a reporter in a meeting space, knowing if someone says something stupid or unprofessional about a nominee for a position, it’s likely to be in The Horizon next week.

Here’s my advice; don’t say anything stupid or unprofessional.

If a senator says they don’t want someone as the treasurer because of their wardrobe choice, the students deserve to know that for a couple of reasons: The senator who said such a thing should be subject to their own words, and students have the right to respond to such ridiculous comments.

Besides, if paid positions are given in popularity contests like this, there’s something inherently wrong with the system to begin with and students should have the right and opportunity to stand up and call the senate out on such behavior.

Of course, that’s a hypothetical example. Either way, it doesn’t matter why an executive session is called. The senate, in the best interest of the people they represent, should always vote against closing the doors and turning off the microphones.

That’s why I’m charging the senate to release the information about what was discussed during this last executive session. They’re supposed to keep those minutes.  I say they post them outside of their office in University Center. They should take a vote to do this in their April 9 meeting.

It’s their call. Let’s see if they answer it.

Jerod Clapp
Senior Editor