SGA is scared to talk to you

Staff Editorial

Dear SGA senators,

If you are afraid to talk to another student you don’t know, you should not be on SGA.

In their first meeting back this semester, SGA debated for almost two hours over changes to their election process.

One of those changes included a debate over the requirement for senators to have a 150-signature petition to get on the ballot for the election.

The point of this staff editorial is not to take a side on this debate. There are pros and cons to the petitions.

However, some of the arguments brought up at the meeting were deeply troubling and give good insight into how some SGA senators view their job and how they feel about representing their peers.

Most of it can be summed up in a quote from Senator Aidan May, a sophomore, who talked about not getting rid of the petitions but lowering the amount of signatures:

“I think 150 is pretty burdensome,” he said. “And I think it kind of went beyond asking the people you might be comfortable asking.

“Maybe going down to 50? I think [students] would be a lot more comfortable going up to people that they would generally know and asking for a signature as opposed to really going up to an absolute stranger, which I think is totally different.”

Granted this quote does not represent the views of all SGA senators. Some senators and president Jillian Scannell, a senior, argued against this kind of rhetoric.

But it’s wrong that there are senators who would rather pass a piece of paper around in their friend group, than have a meaningful conversation with another student about what students actually want.

Say what you want about the previous guidelines and about how 150 signatures is a lot, but at least it got senators talking to students on campus who they wouldn’t normally take the time to get to know.

How meaningful those conversations are is up in the air, but if 150 signatures lead to even a few conversations about what a senator actually wants to do for the student body, then we say they are worth it.

A very revealing moment occurred when Senator David Gringeri, a senior, shared his thoughts on postponing the vote to change the election process.

“Maybe like seperate break out sessions, maybe talking to some students about what they would like to see in the election that they vote in,” Gringeri said.

However, this point never got addressed further.

We would like to have a say in the election we vote in. SGA is just scared to ask us.