Editorial 2-3: Student body must work to hold ASG accountable

Usually we wait until the end of the year to evaluate ASG’s performance, and there’s certainly a few more months for them to take action on issues across campus. We’ll hold off on our grade until April.

But now is a good time to comment on what The Campus feels is ASG’s failure to respond to many of the student body’s concerns. It’s a good time because this weekend, our President and Vice President, seniors Shane Downing and Jamie Havens, will be representing us at the Board of Trustees meeting that’s taking place in Pittsburgh Friday and Saturday.

At their meeting on Tuesday, senators discussed a number of issues, ranging from a new international food option Dining Services plans to offer students to a filmmaker visiting to discuss the fight against malaria. They mentioned the success of Winterfest last Friday, GAP’s spring schedule and the expansion of the Gold Rush program. They talked about the four-year residency requirement for a few minutes.

The back of campus center room 301/302 is reserved for visitors on this night, but there were only four or five students in attendance, including two representatives of The Campus. At the end of the meeting, senators usually bring up constituent concerns; on Tuesday, the meeting adjourned immediately after class presidents gave their reports.

Where were the student voices? Where were the complaints of walkways still buried in slippery snow, concerns that Parkhurst should focus on lowering prices before they bring in new and potentially expensive services, irritation over the recent sprinkler line explosion in a building only seven years old?

According to Dean of Students Joe DiChristina, the Board of Trustees will discuss the four-year residency requirement this weekend; Havens confirmed that she and Downing have been asked to speak on the issue at the meeting. Where was a campus-wide call for student opinions on the issue? How will ASG represent our opinions if they haven’t asked for them?

The Campus critiques because we are an organization that aims to hold ASG accountable. But the senate was elected by the student body, and as such, must ultimately be held accountable by the student body. If you care about the way in which ASG is—or isn’t—representing your views, then it’s your job, too, to take a stand.

Go to the meetings. Have your voice heard. Tell your senators what you’re fighting for, so they can fight for it too.

In a week, you’ll be voting for your new ASG President and Vice President. Make that vote, and all the votes you’ve cast before, count.