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Letter to the Editor

1-29-2019

I am outraged. Last week’s article addressing the story behind the failed impeachment of SGA VP Andy Sandford is utterly absurd; the student government is failing its student body.

For the students who may be unaware, the SGA Officers receive a monetary stipend worth up to 50 percent of their tuition. Not only is this poorly advertised, but the students elected should go above and beyond to serve the student body. The vice president missed 20 percent of his work. Ask any employer and I assure you they will not tolerate, let alone fully pay anyone who inexcusably  misses 20 percent of their work. It is beyond me how the student government can justify dropping the impeachment trial based on this issue alone.

Now, before any critics of my argument chime in and tell me to vote for someone else if I am unhappy with the SGA, we must address the small matter of secret ballots, something commonplace in the SGA on campus. Senators and other SGA members cannot be held accountable for their actions or deliberations wihen closed deliberations and votes are in place. How can the student body differentiate who has their best interests in mind if the senators hide their votes and opinions? The utter lack of transparency is cause for great concern. How can any of us be assured that the SGA is really doing what is best for the student body if they silence the media and those in attendance at their meetings? I served in SGA my sophomore year. I was uncomfortable and sickened by the continued practice of closed votes. The members are hiding their votes so they do not face backlash from the student body. Some may defend the practice by claiming it keeps the senators from being peer pressured by their friends to vote for certain things; however, it is much more probable that this practice keeps senators from being pressured by the student body not to help their friends. If an SGA member is too spineless to say no to their friends and be able to explain why they cannot help, perhaps they either need new friends or to resign from SGA.

The President should be a leader, unafraid to lead and stand by their position. I am sorry Mr. Jarecki, but if you cannot express your feelings on whether Mr. Sandford violated his duties, perhaps you need to take an introspective glance as well to ensure you are representing the students who pay half of your tuition.

The student body deserves better, and that starts with accountability. Andy and John are both great men, friends even, but they, like the rest of SGA, need to be held accountable. SGA, change your policies. It is about time you open your doors and let the student body know what their representatives are doing behind those doors.

Sincerely,

William Santoro