The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

From the Beltway of the SGA: In-depth Analysis of your Student Government Association

Posted by iusbvision on January 26, 2007

With one semester complete, watching our Student Government Association has proven to be interesting. Before I get going on another semester, I want to take a minute to set the record straight on a few issues regarding myself. While I do have a critical eye of what is going on, and I am obviously not afraid to call out the actions of individual SGA members, I do want to go on record as saying the SGA is a valuable organization, with members that make sacrifices and work extremely hard. There have been many new senators who have had to quickly step up, a former Senator, Joanna Reusser, was called upon to step-up as the Vice President and help guide a very young Senate through some tough challenges, and of course a Judicial branch that according to some inside of the SGA has seen more action than any other time in its history. The SGA is full of stories of future leaders from IUSB.

With that being said, I want to continue my analysis in the hopes that my articles would encourage response and debate over issues that still need to be addressed. The easiest way for a good organization to falter is to see it become complacent, and with a sharp analysis, hopefully that will not become an issue.

An organization like the student government has many resources at its disposal; power and influence with the administration, budgeting authority, and the power to govern to name a few. I honestly believe that the greatest resource for the government is its student leaders. For any campus, especially a commuter campus such as ours, building and maintaining student leaders is difficult, and the SGA is not exempt from that challenge.

Over Christmas break the SGA President signed two executive orders relieving two SGA Senators of their positions for failure to follow attendance guidelines set forth in the SGA Constitution and a third Senator was impeached.  Add into the mix that the former president and a few senators did not even make it through the summer; you have a significant question as to what is happening to the student leaders in the SGA?

I think this is a question the current government needs to ask itself, as this semester closes in on elections in April. After looking at the history of the SGA it does have a track record of chewing people up and spitting them out. It seems that for an SGA over the last 4 years to lose 30%-40% of its members it is having a good year. On the other hand, there are also cases of individuals who have lasted a significant amount of time.  While there are not many multi term members this year outside of the executive branch, in the past there has been quite a few and in one case a Senator Tatyana Anokhina served the Senate for three straight years.

So what are the questions that need to be asked? First off the SGA pays all of its members. Which in theory sounds good, but in a budget crunch time, I think it is good to ask the question, are people joining the SGA for a paycheck and leaving when it proves to not be worth the time? Could the SGA actually get more committed members by cutting its pay? Another point that needs to be looked at is the election style.  I did talk about the whole way the system was set up early this semester but what about the simple question of election timing? If many students are lost over the summer should elections be held the first week of the fall semester?

These are just a few questions, but I hope anyone with thoughts and ideas about this subject would weigh in on our weblog, especially our elected leaders. The amount of time and headache that could be saved by not needing to find mid-semester replacements could benefit everyone. In addition, consistency and continuity is vital for an effective student government. Increasing that would be a winning situation for all involved.
   
Rashida Vindic
SGA Analyst

3 Responses to “From the Beltway of the SGA: In-depth Analysis of your Student Government Association”

  1. Antibush said

    Bush is forever saying that democracies do not invade other countries and start wars. Well, he did just that. He invaded Iraq, started a war, and killed people. What do you think? Why has bush turned our country from a country of hope and prosperity to a country of belligerence and fear.
    Our country is in debt until forever, we don’t have jobs, and we live in fear. We have invaded a country and been responsible for thousands of deaths.
    The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are. The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren’t living in a country with bars on the windows. We are.

  2. Rashida Vindic said

    This country is what you make of it. You can find the good or bad in everything. You obviously seem to want to find the bad. I can take every point you have made and turn it around to show the other side…simpley, Sadam killed an estimated 250,000 over his reign. Removing him was a service to the world. We all have our own views and will choose to see the world through our own rose colored glasses.

  3. Craig Chamberlin said

    Antibush,

    My friend, if you want to use the President as your super-villain, that is fine. If this country is failing it can hardly be blamed on one man. We are given the power of accountability and the freedom to dispute our government. If our government fails, we failed it, because we are the ones that [are supposed too?] hold it accountable.

    You want someone to blame for the war and suffering, that is understandable, it is not an easy thing to witness – but I assure you, wars are not the result of one man. Do not act as if it is.

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