As we wind down one year and get ready to start anew May 1, I am taking the opportunity to give everyone an update from inside the Student Association. The colorful posters and annoying palm cards are now a distant memory. We are engulfed in the hard, if less visible, work of governing.
This year’s transition has been fairly smooth, with everyone involved committed to making the organization work. What we do see, however, is a conflict between people like president-elect Carrie Potter and myself and those from the old SA way of thinking who thrive on political spectacle.
These people are having a hard time believing Carrie and I dedicated to leading a low-key, non-political SA that quietly and diligently goes about the work of advocating for students. Well believe it!
The only bit of bad press we seem to have incurred was Sabina Siddiqui’s piece in the April 23 issue of The Hatchet entitled “Why I won’t be involved in next year’s SA” (p.4). I have worked with Sabina in the past and have always been impressed by the clarity of her thoughts, her honesty and dedication. It is for these reasons that Carrie and I want Sabina involved in next year’s SA.
Every position within the SA is 10 percent title and 90 percent motivation, enthusiasm and dedication. We offered Sabina the position of Student Group Liaison understanding that this is a role in the SA that has not worked well in the past.
Sabina is someone we could rely on to do a phenomenal job. The SA needs Sabina next year, and I urge her to reconsider this offer not only for her own constituents, but also for the good of the entire student body. The only people who are excluded from next year’s SA are those who do so themselves.
Allow me now to make a general observation. So much of what is wrong with the SA is part of the overactive political imaginations of those who get involved in it. There are no ideological clashes within the SA, the closest we come to is a grad-undergraduate split (that is particularly contentious at this time of year when we do budgeting.) What holds us back is ego, pure and simple.
It is a slow process, but we are slowly moving toward an SA that’s leaders understand the value of unity, an SA whose leaders put pettiness and ego aside and really work for students. This rejection of the imaginary politics of ego is not a radical idea – it is an idea whose time has come. Carrie and I will make it a reality because, George Bernard Shaw said, “Some people see things as they are and ask why, I dream things that never were and ask `why not?’ “
-The writer is executive vice president-elect of the Student Association.