OP-EDS

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May 13, 2005

SG is our Advocate

The recent Student Government elections have raised some serious questions about the organization's scope and function. With voter turnout at a low, this year's race yielded only two genuine slates and furthered general student opinion of SG that is at best apathetic and at worst highly critical. When faced with the question "What is, or should be, the role of SG?" the students who attended our roundtable discussion expressed confusion and ambivalence (see page 6 for coverage).

But in all of the talk surrounding past and future campaign promises, we may have lost sight of what SG should be first and foremost: the representative of the student body's interests and concerns. We do not expect revolutionary changes, and are not interested in any promises for them. Rather, the Maroon believes that SG should engage students in a dialogue about what issues, good or bad, are on their minds, and bring those concerns to those who need to hear them. SG should be their advocate, and to do so effectively, should show that they are genuinely interested in moving ideas from the students to the administration, and vice-versa. That, in and of itself, would be a sweeping change.

To begin this transition, we call upon the current executive slate to make a renewed effort to solicit ideas from a broad spectrum of the student body. SG should increase awareness among students of SG's capacity to serve as a sounding board for their concerns. While students ultimately choose whether or not to participate, SG must make a concerted effort to engage them.

In the coming year, we hope that SG will reach out to students with a clear vision of what it seeks to accomplish, all the while limiting itself to achieving well thought out, reasonable objectives. Renewed respect for SG will draw high-quality slates out of the woodwork, and voters will, in turn, increase their numbers. It will all start with an SG that makes its presence felt.