Editorial: SGA shouldn’t close its door on students
One of Myke Thompson’s first moves after being elected Student Government Association (SGA) speaker of senate was to close a Friday senate meeting, booting out the press and public for 30 minutes.
Thompson justified the closure by stating that senators were discussing internal issues. He said he wanted the senators to be able to speak freely without the press and Executive Council in attendance. But what were they discussing that they wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing with the student body that funds them?
For an organization that constantly preaches transparency when it comes to turning words into actions, it simply doesn’t measure up.
SGA attempted to draw more students to senate meetings with its “pack the senate” initiative two weeks ago.
Members of the organization even posted on Facebook Friday inviting students to the meeting and reminding them that “senate meetings are open to the student body.” What the organization failed to mention was that no students were allowed to hear what senators were discussing for 30 minutes.
This is the first time SGA has ever kicked out its constituents. Associated Students (AS) did it in the past before student government’s organization changed hands. The restructuring was supposed to prevent things like this from happening.
AS built a poor reputation for itself by not being accountable for its actions, and until recently, SGA worked to deviate from that reputation. However, if senators continue to isolate themselves from the student body, they’re going to find themselves right back where they started.
Senate meetings are not a time for senators to air out their personal issues with one another. They are a time for senators to be working for the student body representing their constituencies. SGA already spent $2,652.69 of student funds on a fall retreat where they were supposed to be trained and made comfortable working together.
Thompson should have called a special meeting to discuss administrative issues instead of taking valuable time away from representing the student body, which is exactly what the organization is supposed to accomplish.