Hard Decisions

This last week’s student government meeting was different than any other meeting I’ve been to thus far. Not because it was in the campus center lobby instead of on the third floor, not because two guests were there to talk about very important subjects, but because of how many ASG members, cabinet and senate, weren’t there.

In an ASG meeting several weeks ago, Larry Hailsham,’15, president of ASG, reminded his senate and cabinet that they did not have to be there. That it was a choice, and that nobody would judge or blame them if they couldn’t handle the stress or responsibility of representing student voice on campus. That message was clearly heard as several senate and cabinet members were not in attendance due to resignations.

In addition to that, Brogan McGowan,’16, chief of staff, resigned citing a disciplinary reasons with the college. While he could have stayed on cabinet, he took it upon himself to resign because he felt that if he couldn’t hold himself to the standards that he held the cabinet and senate members to, he shouldn’t be in that position. McGowan was a member of ASG for three years and his leaving, while the right decision, will leave a large void in the ASG community.

Upon his announcement, a round of applause roared from the senators commending his service of the last several years. I found this to be a very unique moment because his resignation was due to something that he did wrong, but ASG still commended him for his service. I thought it was a very powerful moment. And to do the announcement at the ASG meeting in the campus center lobby took a lot of courage, and for that I respect him.

While this announcement came at the end of ASG, other major announcements from Katie Pope, the college’s new Title IX coordinator, and Ian Binnington, professor of history and chair of the curriculum committee sparked a lot of discussion between senate members and constituents. Pope talked about her role as Title IX coordinator and students had the opportunity to ask her questions about her job, the current sexual assault reporting process, and much more. Binnington’s announcement had to do with potential changes to the curriculum at Allegheny, specifically with the distribution requirement. The proposal from the committee will be voted on at the next faculty meeting this coming week.

A lot happened during this ASG meeting, but in my opinion, the most important announcement came during the president’s announcements. While discussions about restructuring ASG have been happening all year, Hailsham announced that ASG may be taking a break for several weeks as they try and figure out the best course of action to make ASG a more legitimate and efficient governance on campus. A huge move for ASG and one that is not only respectable, but arguably monumental.

As ASG’s beat reporter, I will do my best to keep Allegheny up to date on all things ASG and how their decisions might impact the entire campus community.