Hannah Johnson’s Rebuttal

The three representatives of The Rambler that decided to endorse Charli Fant provided an informative account of the positive influence Fant would have in the position. She would make a great president. The endorsement, however, focuses only on certain issues relevant to the role of president. It recognizes that there is room for improvement in some of SGA’s functioning, but it excludes the importance of ensuring creative action within two major committees; Student Affairs and Academic Affairs. This is where students actually address issues and plan events that will impact all students.

This endorsement does not seem to support SGA’s endeavors to do anything different than just give money to organizations. I say this because though Fant’s  goal to empower other student organizations is referenced several times, the only way that this is illustrated here is through SGA’s monetary contributions. While this is definitely an important function, it is not all that SGA can do for the students.

To address some specifics of the endorsement, I suggested opening EC meetings to the public taking into account the fact that having full senate meetings open to the public thus far has not decreased efficiency. Therefore I do not expect a similar policy to negatively affect the EC. Should efficiency become an issue under this initiative, we could address it in the future.

The endorsement does not mention SGA’s active attempts to reach out to the campus. SGA should provide all students with opportunities, not just those who seek them in our full senate meetings. This is why campus wide events such as the Beck Blackout are helpful not only to bring everyone together, but to show students that SGA actually wants to do things for them. Maybe goals such as these are seen as attempts to make SGA the “dominant force on campus,” but I instead see them as taking advantage of the potential the organization has in using connections with the administration to do something about the lack of school spirit and unity; an issue that SGA was confronted with and actually did something about. On a side note, the funding for the Beck Blackout was provided mostly by the university and therefore did not take away from funds that could be given to other student organizations from SGA’s budget. I, too, am for empowering student organizations to act in this way. There is room in SGA for both acting and empowering others to act.

This endorsement makes a valid argument; however it values change and reform in the activities that SGA has been pursuing for a long time without supporting SGA’s efforts to take on new tasks to provide opportunities that could benefit all students. If your only concerns as a voter are the inner workings of SGA and funding requests, and if you think SGA should not try new things and take risks on a campus-wide scale in addition to improving these aspects, then this is an accurate guide to how you should vote.

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