In SGA President Larry O. Rivers’ state of the student body address, he made a plea for students to get as excited about town hall meetings as they are about Homecoming and Be Out Day concerts.
Admittedly, students need to take a more proactive stance about their University and begin to demand that the administration considers their needs first when making monumental decisions.
Students need to start questioning the powers that be and should not cease until their questions get a satisfactory answer, not the “I can’t answer that” or “I will look into that” that seem to be the commonplace answers of Gainous’ office.
However, just as SGA does an excellent job of publicizing for concerts and themselves during election time, they should put that same energy into advertising for their town hall meetings.
SGA’s sole purpose is to address the concerns of students. Before students can begin to address Gainous and his administration, they need to turn a questioning eye to their student representatives. Why did it take three freshmen to organize a town hall meeting with the president of the University? Why did three young men have to forward letters to state senators and legislators for the SGA to really focus on what the students want and need?
Furthermore, when a town hall is advertised, that gives people the impression that an open forum will be somewhere on the agenda. However, random SGA representatives were passing out and collecting note cards to control what questions would be asked. When a question does make it through the filtering process, a person whom the question is not addressed should not come to another person’s defense.
Case in point: Gainous made an interesting comment. He asked everyone present to welcome “HIS SGA president,” finally, albeit innocently, revealing the truth – the SGA president has been acting as an independent body separate from the students.
There should never be a time when the president is not aware of the needs of the students. What is more appalling is the SGA president doesn’t even know what students want.
As the school year and Rivers’ reign comes to an end, students must think about the role of student leaders as liaisons.
Students must not allow the next SGA president to favor complying with our University president over our needs and wants.