Swing and a miss

On March 1, our SGA held the first-ever UVM town meeting. This year was the first time classes haven’t been cancelled for Town Meeting Day.  The SGA’s meeting was a response to the University’s decision.Most out-of-state upperclassmen remember Town Meeting Day as that random day in March where they didn’t have to go to class.  For people from Vermont however, this day is a tradition that they have been a part of for most of their lives.  Town meetings are mainly unique to Vermont and a few other New England states.  They are a true staple of the democratic process and an important tool for setting a town’s agenda and budget for the upcoming year.  The University used to cancel classes on this day so students and faculty that lived in Vermont could go to their respective meetings.  This year they decided that if students and faculty wanted to go, they could just skip classes for the day.  The SGA responded by calling a town meeting of their own. And it was a complete bust.  However, the SGA, who set up an efficient system to make sure all questions were answered and everything went smoothly, was not responsible for this failure.  The failure was on the hands of the student body — only about 30 of them attended on March 3. This turnout is simply unacceptable.  At the meeting, important topics such as quality of education, tuition costs and SGA accomplishments were discussed.  The meeting was a valuable resource for students who wanted to know exactly what the University’s goals were and also how the SGA was making student concerns known to people who can make a difference.  Conversation was spirited amongst the small group that was in attendence. However, many people at the meeting appeared to have similar thoughts on many of the issues, so there was very little differing of opinion.  Had more students cared to attend, they would have had many of their questions about the SGA and the University answered.  There wouldn’t be any more questions like, “Where does my tuition come from?” and “What the hell is the SGA and why do I need them?”The SGA put on a town meeting to prove to the administration that UVM’s students care enough to attend their own town meetings and legitimize a school holiday. Nevertheless, the student body dropped the ball.