It was refreshing to read Josh Akman’s pragmatic analysis of the Student Association and President-elect Julie Bindelglass’ electoral challenges (“A new era for the SA?” April 16, p. 4). Unlike most incoming SA Presidents, Bindelglass will need to win over many constituencies who don’t know her, never voted for her, and worse, voted against her. Akman correctly points out that bringing in former candidate and number two in the SA, Kyle Boyer, will alleviate this challenge if he is involved both in title and practice.
Akman’s advice of engaging the ‘Abolish the SA’ movement, however, is poor political counsel. Bindelglass should move forward quickly to reach out to student leaders who want to work with the SA, clearly define her agenda for the coming year and begin working on highly visible successes with other student leaders. Engaging a group that doesn’t think you should exist and represents a small group of students seeking attention will be a waste of Bindelglass’ free time (which she will soon learn is going to be non-existent).
While Bindelglass should emphatically ignore the ‘Abolish the SA’ group, she should heed much attention to the underlying sentiments they represent. Former SA President Vishal Aswani disgraced the office of the SA president that former SA President Nicole Capp worked tirelessly to restore by wasting his year hiding from students, hiding from the press and hiding from his responsibilities.
While Vishal was given an incredible political and practical opportunity to continue the successes of former SA President Nicole Capp, Julie Bindelglass is also in a position of opportunity. The SA has hit rock bottom and the only seemingly path is upward. Bindelglass shouldn’t waste the opportunity, like her predecessor, and should instead capitalize on it to restore faith in the SA through her actions.
If Bindelglass starts buying Nooshi for her loyal SA senators and wasting thousands of student dollars on a sock-hop, or if her own staff starts to quit in tears, we’ll know it’s just another opportunity wasted. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.
Stephan Miller, 2008 Graduate