Remember, kids: Vote early; vote often
by Tim Dunbar
It´s no secret that I think the current Student Government Assembly is the most useless group since the Commission on Un-American Activities and the fact that they blow more than $120,000 of your money every year is a disgrace. Anyone who´s ever read this column knows I have no time for this bunch of self-serving, resume-padding bureaucrats.
Neither, it appears, do the students of Metro; nor does W.H. "Butch" Oxendine, the consultant the SGA paid $5,000 to evaluate them.
Oxendine´s "Confidential Follow–Up Consultant Report," which he filed after the SGA´s fall leadership retreat last August, included the observation that "(The) SGA has been so very ineffective in the past that they have earned a reputation of incompetence, of being ´power hungry,´ and of being a ´do–nothing´ organization," and that "this image has been earned."
In his treatise, Oxendine, who did for five-grand–five-grand of your money–what the Metro student body would have done for free had the SGA taken the time and made the effort to ask them, also said the SGA "doesn´t have a clearly defined mission or purpose," something I´ve been harping on for the past couple of years.
Last week, The Metropolitan ran a section featuring quotes from students around campus about the upcoming election. Responses ranged from "I didn´t even know we had elections" to "I don´t really have an opinion" and "I don´t really care." Pity.
Apathy doesn´t just run rampant here at Metro; it practically gallops.
This apathy runs both ways, too. This year, only 13 students turned in their intent-to-run forms to become SGA candidates and only two of them will be running head-to-head for the position of president. Thirteen students to fill 20 positions on the SGA–up from the current 13 positions–is a sad state of affairs because some candidates will run uncontested. This means the same ineffective schlubs will be in some of the same positions next year.
Because it would be a conflict of interest to officially endorse one of the candidates, because she and I write for the same paper–she´s the writer up there over my head–I can only say that I wouldn´t vote for the current SGA president unless she bribed me with, say, a couple million dollars and offered to pay off my student loans.
Not that I have anything against her as a person; quite the opposite, in fact. She´s very nice, friendly and, dare I say it, perky: exactly the kind of person Metro does not need to be president of its student government. What it needs–craves, in fact–is someone who is pissed off, someone not afraid to take on the administration (even if she occasionally calls them "The Man"), someone who says, in no uncertain terms, what´s on her mind, someone who will get under the skin of the board of trustees, the state legislature, the governor and anyone else who has a say in how our tax money and tuition is spent.
At the root of the problem is the fact that so few people have any sort of knowledge of what, if anything, SGA does–because, let´s face it, SGA has a history of not doing anything–they have no frame of reference to work with.
Why care about something that barely exists outside the offices of the SGA? Why be concerned about a nice, quiet, unobtrusive organization that pretty much keeps to itself and doesn´t get in anyone´s way? BECAUSE THEY SPEND MORE THAN A HUNDRED AND TWENTY THOUSAND DOLLARS OF YOUR MONEY EVERY YEAR AND HAVE VIRTUALLY NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT, THAT´S WHY!
Whew! Sorry about the shouting, but I had to get that out of my system.
So, I urge you ... no, I beg you to vote April 18-23 online at MetroConnect, or by paper ballot April 18-22 at the flagpole. Vote early and, as Al Capone once said, vote often (OK, I´m kidding about that last part, but still ...). Vote to rid the SGA of those members who believe it´s better to play nice than to have anything resembling a purpose.