SA divorce – Staff editorial

For years, graduate students and undergraduates have grumbled about if and how the Student Association meets their respective needs. Graduates complain that undergraduates spend too much time on issues such as J Street service and meal plans rather than concentrate on issues such as research improvements and fellowships. Undergraduates say grads complain about the lack of programming geared toward them, but don’t show up when a graduate event is planned.

Some students are seriously talking about splitting the SA into two separate entities – one to represent undergraduates, one to represent grads. This might be the best solution for ensuring all students’ needs and concerns are addressed by student government.

Splitting the SA would be neither simple nor quick. It would require a referendum question during the next student elections, the involvement of the University administration and a variety of bureaucratic hurdles. The whole process would take about two years to enact with no guarantee it would be successful. But it is time to get the ball rolling.

Time and again, SA meetings become battles between undergraduates and grad students who don’t fully understand or appreciate each other’s concerns. Giving each their own elected government body would help alleviate that problem. Issues affecting all students could be addressed through a joint committee of the two student governments.

It is time the SA take a long, hard look at itself and see if it is doing all it can for all its constituents. The SA should allow students to decide for themselves if they would rather have two student governments. The differences between graduates and undergraduates are significant and can’t be minimized. It is time they are governed separately.

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