Open up already

IUS Horizon

For those of us who couldn’t drive to campus during the snow storm, we sat with our hands tied and had little to do other than catch up on some reading for classes. You know, just to be ahead of the curve.

OK, maybe not, but it sure got boring fast. I’m sure many of you were either digging a tunnel out of your driveway or finding whatever you could burn, legally, just to stay warm.

Meanwhile, students living on campus, particularly those who sit on the Lodge Council, had an opportunity to continue paving their way to becoming an official student group.

They’re on the right track;  they’re working out the kinks in their constitution and coming up with ideas on what issues they should tackle as a group.

I was interested in how they conduct their business in such a laid back fashion. They’re not worried about Robert’s Rules of Order [Google it] or official communications. One of their primary vehicles of discussion is on Facebook.

Again, that’s fine. It’s a modern way to keep in touch with people. Why shouldn’t they have a Facebook group?

I’d say check it out, but unless someone is invited, they can’t see the group’s discussions.

Even as informal the Lodge Council is right now, they should still keep their business open to the public. They’re not making decisions to affect how residence life is for students yet, but they will soon. That’s reason enough to make sure there’s a public forum for residents’ concerns.

We’ve been through this over and over again at The Horizon. The Student Government Association would call their meetings into executive session every so often, in which only SGA members can hear the proceedings of that portion of the meeting.

I’ve taken issue with this a few times and have followed the steps of some of our former reporters, as well as what professionals should do. We cite Sunshine in Government laws, including the ones Indiana has adopted. We don’t leave the meeting until police escort us out of the room.

Since our reporters have been steadfast about the public’s business being public, SGA has all but eliminated executive session.

The Lodge Council should learn from their example. They may not be calling their meetings into secrecy, but keeping everyone from seeing what they discuss in their Facebook group doesn’t send a good message. Surely they aren’t discussing anything so sensitive, the public doesn’t need to see what they’re talking about.

I know their executives might have to discuss issues of individual students, but the main group does not.

Students, residents or not, shouldn’t have to ask permission to see what this group does in an online, public forum.

Whether the veil is intentional or not, it needs to be lifted.

It’ll keep them honest, it’ll lower the suspicions of the students they represent, and it’ll make them better. 

Jerod Clapp
Senior Editor