Co-Editor-in-Chief gives student government a C letter grade

Sam Stephenson, Co-Editor-in-Chief

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After the four or so weeks I have covered ASG thus far, I feel like I have a very solid grounding in how ASG has worked this year. Because of what I have observed and learned, I have given ASG a C in its performance this semester.

While ASG has had to react to many different things that have been thrown on their plate, like the textbook situation, the Armstrong Cable fiasco, and their incredibly small budget, ASG has still had to deal with internal issues that should already be commonplace.

For example, a large issue for some senators and cabinet has been the idea of direct representation. Do students know who their senator is, and do they feel well represented? The main priority of student government is to represent student voice on campus, and ASG doesn’t know how well they do that or if they do that at all? I find that very troubling.

Allegheny is coming up on its bicentennial year, and its very own student government is struggling to find an identity on campus. Just recently the student government proposed a resolution that would be a litmus test to see if they even have an influence within the administration.

A big part of ASG’s problem is their size. With 51 members of student government, senators and cabinet, it is rare sight to see anything productive happen in a timely manner. ASG knows this as well, in a recent article I wrote I talked about how members of ASG are looking to radically change how the organization looks, hopefully by cutting its size.

The core problem with any student government is that it is very cyclical. It’s not a matter of presidents or senators having terms, the problem is senators, presidents, and cabinet members graduate. They leave. And with them their ideas, both good and bad, leave too. Understanding that core issue with any major student organization is key, but I still believe the fundamentals of student government shouldn’t be something that the current administration has to re-emphasize among themselves. While participation in elections isn’t high, in both voting and senator turnout, that doesn’t mean their should be any confusion about direct representation.

A recent survey by The Campus is looking into how students feel about student government and it will be telling if students feel that they are being represented by their student government and if they believe their government even has influence.

I gave ASG an average grade, but it leaves a lot of room for improvement. I have faith that ASG can’t get any worse and with Larry and Autumn at the helm I think ASG will be put in the right direction.

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