Since the organization’s inception, Oswego State students have made a habit of complaining about the Student Association government. Whether complaints focus on cuts in funding to their clubs or a lack of productivity, SA has become a go-to punching bag around campus.
What students don’t seem to like to do, however, is get involved to solve some of the problems they complain about. The fact that SA has only 14 senators, 11 of whom are freshmen, speaks to the general culture of apathy at Oswego State. Quite simply, students would rather sit around and complain than take the initiative to get out and help solve the problems students face on campus.
Certainly, SA is not without blame. Its interaction with student organizations has left much to be desired and the organization’s transparency has, for several years now, been abysmal.
The Oswegonian, along with other media organizations on campus, deserves blame for problems between SA and students as well. It is our job to keep students informed on all SA policy that directly affects them and, in this regard, we have dropped the ball. We have turned our eye away from SA senate meetings and events, allowing SA leaders to slip more and more out of the consciousness of students. It is our hope that enhanced coverage, including the new “This week in SA” section, will create greater transparency in the senate and draw more student interest to their student government.
SA handles $1.2 million of student, which under the current system is being controlled by only a handful of students. Until more students directly involve themselves in government, whether through applying for senate seats or showing up in-person to meetings and letting their voices be heard, we will have no true “student” government.
Students should keep in mind that anyone is allowed to submit legislation to the senate floor. See a problem on campus? Contact your senator and work on a solution. The whole idea of student government is to provide to students, the primary financers of the entire university, a way to dictate the policy of the university they attend. When 99 percent of the student body avoids involvement, we leave ourselves utterly powerless.
So next time you find yourself with the urge to complain, instead find your way into a senate meeting and make your voice worth something.