Standing behind your vote

The Student Government Association has taken yet a further step in delegitimizing their work.At the Senate meeting on Dec. 2, Senators Bob Just and David Maciewicz introduced a bill that would have required all votes by SGA to be recorded with the name of each senator and how they voted. While we would like to commend Senators Just and Maciewicz and Speaker Mandy Frank for providing the opportunity for senators to call for voter transparency, unfortunately, this bill did not pass – meaning that the SGA will continue to render its decisions anonymously.As an elected official, it is the senator’s duty to openly represent the students on this campus who voted for them – and it is precisely this duty that the body has shrugged in failing to pass this bill.For what reason should an elected body such as the SGA conduct itself in this way? Apparently some senators fear having to justify their records to a potentially angry student body. One of the issues that was raised with having transparent votes was potential backlash from students, specifically citing the Red Cross debate from last year.While we acknowledge that the action taken against then-Speaker Michael Glynn was unfortunate, we cannot help but think that if the others who had voted against the resolution had been named as well, there would have been a united group of people to stand up behind their decision. Further, as elected officials tasked with forming policy, our senators must accept potential backlash as part of the job. Being elected officials, they rule under our employ – entrusted with the allocation and distribution of our money. Thus, the function of regular elections is to provide the student body with the tools to regularly evaluate and, if necessary, recall our decision to provide each member of the senate with their responsibilities.But if we are not privy to the voting records of SGA members, how can we make such decisions?It is not fair that SGA senators’ constituency be deaf and voiceless participants in the formation of policy that will touch on all students.If a senator is not able to stand up in front of students and justify their voting records, then they should seriously consider reexamining their role and consider resigning.