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The Campus

The student news site of Allegheny College

The Campus

The student news site of Allegheny College

The Campus

An Open Letter to the Allegheny College Community and the Allegheny Student Government Senate – What are we doing?

I felt that I was a very qualified candidate for the position and was shocked and confused to learn following GA that there was no discussion by any members of the senate about my nomination (see GA minutes document). Instead of discussing relevant topics, such as the capacity to fulfill the role within the organization, whether he is qualified, what we think about his cover letter or any other relevant questions that should be discussed for someone entering a leadership position, the Senate failed to foster any discussion/debate which is what they are elected to do; to represent the student body. This is very concerning as a student that senators did not wish to discuss a situation that is affecting many students and clubs around campus and how my nomination could help fix this problem. How could a government hold a vote without even speaking to one another? This is not how the government is supposed to work. 

The motion to vote failed and another surprising thing is the amount of abstentions that happened during the vote. 7 members of the senate (almost 50%) abstained on a motion to approve the only applicant willing to help ASG fill its need for the Director of Treasury position. Students have had concerns about getting reimbursed or have been unable to do events because the position is not functioning properly. When presented with a qualified and dedicated candidate, the senate voted against ASG and the student’s interest in helping finance get back on track. This vote has now put ASG in a compromising position.

Before the vote, members of the GA passed a motion to suspend next week’s meeting. You may be wondering why this is a bad thing. While it is great that the student leadership and senate have the chance to leave campus or recharge after a long semester, this vote turned out to have some concerning implications for the treasurer position. During the comment period, I questioned the student government about how they intend to run finance without a treasurer for the time being. A senator stated that there would be an amendment to the constitution being worked on to make 2 Co-Directors of the Treasury. This amendment will take 2 weeks to vote on, requires a supermajority, and most importantly isn’t currently written. If this amendment were to be written and passed over 2 weeks this would leave ASG without a Treasurer until December 5th! This is incredibly concerning as the President, Vice-President, and advisor of the ASG will now need to continue to support the position until then which they have been doing for a couple of weeks now. The added strain that the senate has now put on its leadership team is not in the best interests of the students. These leaders have coursework, full-time jobs, current position responsibilities, personal lives, and many other things that they would like to accomplish and now have to sacrifice more time to fill in for the empty position. Instead of electing the only applicant for Director of Treasury and then passing an amendment for a co-director, the Senate now will have to look for two members of the student body to take these positions; a process that will only take more time than what has already been put into the candidate search. 

“What are we doing?” is the only thing that has been running through my mind as your representatives on the Allegheny Student Government Senate failed to foster positive thoughtful discussion before voting on such an important motion and have placed leadership under more stress than they should not have to go through. I am not writing this article because I didn’t receive enough votes and am scorned; I am writing this because as a student and member of the Allegheny College community, your elected representatives have chosen not to listen to your concerns about finance, but rather have created an even bigger problem than before. If you are concerned about the lack of discussion and democratic process show up, how your student fees are being looked after, show up. Or just downright don’t understand why the Senate has plunged the leadership team into more chaos, show up. It is important that you let your senators know how you feel and that they are held accountable for their actions. 

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Sincerely,

Andrew Strobel

Strobel also provided the documents he submitted to ASG when applying to be ASG’s treasurer; the cover letter can be viewed here, and the resume can be viewed here.

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