Op-Ed: Understanding the SA

by Joe Ardito

I found the staff editorial “Sluggish SA” (Oct. 18, p. 4) to be quite comical yet painfully frustrating at the same time. It was comical due to its complete lack of validity and frustrating for the same reason.

The Hatchet asserted that, “With work, the SA can accomplish more than what students unfortunately come to expect from their representatives: zero.” While this may have been the case in past years with different administrations, this year’s members of the SA are hard working and have accomplished more in a few months than any previous administration.

SA President Roger Kapoor has the support of more students than previous presidents, as shown by the fact that he received 56.5 percent of the votes in this past spring’s election. There has been renewed interest in the SA with this administration, as shown by the hundreds of students who applied for positions in the spring. Also, almost 2,700 freshmen have signed up for the SA listserv to find out more about their student government, and many of them have continued their support by volunteering to help in various aspects and by applying for positions within the SA.

Don’t fool yourself into thinking you can underestimate the SA. The Hatchet acknowledged the SA’s role in organizing the school-wide vigil Sept. 12 but said that it did “not fulfill any long-term goals and will not continue to improve student life like initiatives Kapoor and others promised during their campaigns.” The vigil may not have fulfilled any long-term goals, but it will continue to improve student life in that it was an important opportunity for our university to grieve together over the destruction and to aid the students in beginning the healing process.

The Hatchet also warned the SA to “be careful not to take credit for others’ accomplishments,” in reference to the allocation of funds to student groups. It should be stated that the current administration was not taking credit for the larger amount of money that was available for disbursement this year. They were taking pride, in the amount of time and effort that the SA Finance Committee took in making sure that the money was fairly distributed.

Give Kapoor and the SA a chance to act on their planned initiatives before accusing them of being too slow and not “putting words into action.” Do not assume that just because the SA is not announcing each step of every new initiative nothing is being accomplished.

-The writer is SA chief of staff.

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