The Daily Gamecock

In Our Opinion: SG foolish to hide codes creating house of delegates

Student Government has covered up a section of code in their constitution written to manage a proposed house of delegates for student organizations for years.

Move over Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange; we’ve got a new hero of the people. Our man, Josh Snead, has blown the lid off the latest Student Government shenanigans: covering up constitutional codes written years ago to create, basically, a House of Representatives for SG that would give legislative power to the 400 student organizations at USC: a house of delegates. These delegates would work in accordance with the student senate, the student body president and the university president to discuss, deliberate and foster the best interests of the student organizations.

There are no limits to the things that are just plain wrong with this whole situation.

First of all, what kind of backwards organizational system — or lack thereof — allowed an entire section of Student Government’s constitution to just disappear for somewhere between 40 and eight years? That’s a clerical error gone horribly wrong, we’d say.

Second, it disturbs us to no end that the top leaders in Student Government, those that the student body voted for in confidence that they would put students’ needs first, thought the best way to handle finding out about these long-lost codes would be to just not. Instead, they spent valuable time looking for a loophole to get rid of them. Preparing for real-world politics, are we?

But here’s the real question: why cover it up? Student Body President Chase Mizzell campaigned on creating a group of student leaders to help SG do a better job of understanding and helping student organizations. Maybe it’s just us, but it seems like this house of delegates would be, well, something great. It would also be a chance to, oh, you know, actually deliver on that campaign promise. We complain all the time about SG not getting things done, so it’s just plain sad to us that they actually did something — sometime between 1970 and 2005, but still — and then left it collecting dust in the back of SG’s constitution. Come on, guys. Work with us here.

No, really, work with us. Student organization leaders want a chance to actively engage with Student Government, especially since, for most, SG controls how much money they get every year. And no one cares more about these student organizations than the students who devote their time to leading them. This house of delegates would empower student organizations to become the engine of their own progress, grant them legitimacy and above all else, remove the drawling middle men they must currently consult with that provide no guarantee of getting something done. Seems like common sense, right?

In all fairness, an argument could almost be made that this house of delegates isn’t viable logistically. USC has more than 400 student organizations on campus, so trying to coordinate and handle a body of that many student leaders could pose somewhat of a challenge. The SG chambers would probably need some more chairs, to say the least.

But let’s be honest: all 400 organizations aren’t going to go through the trouble of electing and sending delegates to Student Government. It’s the inherent flaw of SG that, despite all the good work they can do, not everyone is going to care.

But the main point of this tirade and the No. 1 reason the house of delegates is a worthwhile project: some people would care. And those people deserve the chance to speak up for their organization and try to make a difference. How can USC be better off without a medium that can harness the passion of those students, however many there are, and channel it toward positive change? Answer: It’s not.
Student Government should’ve tried to make it work. That’s why they exist, after all.


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