SGA wake up call
By Ellis Cross
February 18, 2013
With Western’s administration on their knees financially it’s interesting how the SGA can still manage to place its lips firmly on administrations buttocks. SGA President, Alison Norris and the Senate are not representing the students and neither is Student Governor, Peter Gregory.
The SGA was accused of initiating the passage of a smoking ban policy on Western’s campus in this column in a recent issue. Amber Nold wrote an extended comment on line at griffonnews.com about how the research wasn’t done right and we had delivered misinformation. Look on the website now. You will see the document which clearly states that the SGA is recommending the smoking ban.
Now who needs to do the research? If the question is coming from administration then the answer from the SGA should be short and to the point. The position of SGA should be a piece of paper with one capital N and one capital O. That is the students position and the SGA members have all sworn to represent the students during their campaign.
SGA has failed.
SGA should have spent the $100,000 used to pay for those desks, which should have been administration’s responsibility, for an ad campaign instead. The campaign should explain how students are going to take a more active role in their education and supply their own student services. The campaign would help students understand the benefits of paying an additional $175 budget replenishment fee each semester so students could run the entire second floor of Blum Union.
But, the SGA is only going to introduce a $75.00 increase in fees. That will get us no additional power or services than we are seeing now. If the amount was $175.00 we could take over the second floor of Blum Union and have control of all of the student services.
The administration will never again be so motivated to bargain this favorably for students to take power. SGA is missing the opportunity to take control completely and rewarding administration by buying furniture for them. Get off your elbows and fight. Do the job you were elected to do. Represent the students.
Student Governor, Peter Gregory wants a smoking ban. He said so in a recent email. He sits on the board. Now, out of nowhere, the board is supposedly pushing a smoking ban? It smells a bit too fishy. SGA is now busying itself finding the terminology the students want to put in the ban?
-NEWS FLASH- We don’t want the ban. That is the position and language that needs to go to the board. If SGA wants to represent students, then that is their only position option. SGA needs to learn to say no to administration.
There is a published document at griffonnews.com which shows the SGA recommending the smoking ban. The SGA has no defensible position. They are wrong on these issues. They have chosen to position themselves against what the students want concerning the smoking ban, they have spent students money kissing administrative backside to the point we will soon be piping sunshine and fresh air to them. They refuse to take advantage of the financial position of this campus to gain student control of student services.
Tell Peter Gregory and those like him to go to a non-smoking school. We were smoking here long before he was born. Smokers built this school literally and figuratively. Smokers built a dam good school that some students are proud to be a part of. Those who don’t like Western the way it is should go to some other school.
The SGA is not fighting or arguing for the student’s position. Instead students see a gift to administration costing students $100,000 with no return of benefits what so ever for all students. SGA is missing a golden opportunity to rule this campus and administration is probably laughing behind closed doors at the way SGA is so easily played.
The $1.9 million raised by a $175.00 fee would replenish the state appropriations cuts that the administration is begging for and get students some much-needed clout on this campus. The SGA could be the most powerful force on this campus if they would just play to win this money game.
As it is, they are loosing badly. They are not fighting against the smoking ban. They are supporting it against student’s wishes. They are refusing to fight for the decision the students made clear in more than one student vote. They are spending large amounts of money for things that are the responsibility of administration with no additional benefits to all students. They are refusing to take over student services and have left students to the whims of a budget-poor administration to supply what it calls student services.
If the present SGA leaders could extract themselves from Western’s administration and start representing students soon we would have a chance to become a truly student-operated campus. We could affect the power to hire and fire our own advisors and student services team and evaluate them on our terms. We could help the administration get back $1.9 million in appropriation cuts. Western could be a place of student leadership and student courage. The SGA needs to wake up, help administration regain financially and put students in a better position to improve their future and the future of this university.