Broken Promises

Ineffective government. With another round of Student Association elections staring us down, it’s a phrase that we at The Oswegonian bring up a lot these days.

Believe us when we say that reporting on idiots in power does lose its charm after a while. You’d think we’d be all for false promises and scandal, given they fill a full-page headline pretty well.

The truth though, is that just once we want a public representative to actually carry out some of those campaign promises, and this year, there are a whole lot of promises on the tickets of Steven DiMarzo and Michael Johnson.

But let’s not sell them short just yet. Instead, let’s take a trip back to last February and look at all the promises that went unanswered by the current crop of S.A. representatives.

College and community diversity was the hot ticket in the 2009 election. Fresh from an incident with Oswego State student Angel Moreno and a Quran burning, promises to "fix" our diversity issues were the campaign slogan of choice.

Code Unity, the offshoot of current S.A. President Chrissy Ballesteros, was supposed to work to break down barriers and host community rituals, like a candlelight vigil floating atop Glimmerglass Lagoon. Sounds perfect, right? Today, the group is nowhere to be found. Granted, we’ve not seen diversity related incidents directly this year, but that certainly wasn’t due to the efforts of S.A.

Parking also made its usual appearance on the ballot. So did the high cost of textbooks, tuition increases and budget cuts. Guess what? Textbooks still cost a lot, tuition went up, budgets were cut, and we still have the same parking policy.

In the last year, more than ever, we have seen how ineffective S.A. is at running itself, much less dealing with college and community-wide issues. There was the disaster that was the 2009 spring concert and non-students taking advantage of S.A.’s generous credit card. We were force fed Zip cars that never get used, and the Toyota may have an issue braking.

Like it or not, S.A. is just as ineffectual at changing school policy as any other student on this campus. Most other students, however, avoid the embarrassing act of prancing around with self-induced importance as an election cycle draws near.

What power S.A. has is in its purse strings. They are the keepers of the activity fee, nothing more. Their reign is over student groups and the funding they receive. They are not administration. They cannot change administration policy. They can’t, on their own, change parking, Auxiliary Services, tuition, long lunch lines, college hour or anything else that does not receive funding from them.

Supporting those causes, or changes to them is fine, but recognize the reality of the situation. Don’t sell the public on issues you can only hope to change and don’t trivialize the institution known as Student Association.