Hilltop Views chooses not to endorse SGA ticket

Hilltop Views chooses not to endorse SGA ticket

Student Government Association, SGA, campaign posters have recently popped up around campus. Considering SGA’s relative invisibility for most of the semester, students might be wondering what the posters are all about.

SGA elections for next semester open on EdWeb at 5 p.m. tonight. Nevertheless, students might still wonder what SGA does.

SGA is a student organization, maintained through St. Edward’s Student Life, with several goals, according to the organization’s page on the St. Edward’s University website. These goals include maintaining quality of life on campus and fostering communication between students and administration. SGA members are intended to serve as representatives of the student body and the entire university.

The accomplishment of these goals, as well as the quality of SGA’s representation, is something voters ought to consider when voting for SGA officers and senators.

Hilltop Views chooses not to endorse one particular SGA ticket for president and vice president during this election season. This is because neither ticket has distinguished itself at this time. In this issue, Hilltop Views has published the platforms of the candidates. Based on these platforms, which emphasize communication with the administration and internal reform, we do not feel these candidates are focused on the right things.

Some of these platforms express that the candidates understand student concerns because they are also students. That is promising. Several other platforms express the candidates’ intentions to pursue internal SGA reforms. That is less promising. Time spent on internal reforms is time not spent on student body concerns.

Overall, SGA could do more to represent the student body more effectively. SGA often goes unnoticed during the semester, except by students involved with the organization, or those who read Hilltop Views’ “Knowing Your SGA” column.

The ongoing smoking ban discussion is probably the main issue students are familiar with, mostly because it has been an issue for several semesters. The longevity of this issue might actually point to a problem. Why has the one issue students are most familiar with gone unresolved?

That is a difficult question to answer. While SGA is a governing body, and SGA members sit in on Board of Trustees meetings, decision making is not solely left up to students. SGA must work within budget constraints and with administrators.

At this point, the continued discussion of smoking on campus might seem like overkill. It is understandable that SGA members have spent several semesters on the issue, considering their limitations. SGA members may have more power than the majority of the student body, but at the end of the day, they are still students.

The smoking ban has made it clear that SGA has limitations. Furthermore, the internal issues that plague any governing body are inevitable.

SGA has the potential to serve the student body.

As students, all of the candidates are qualified to represent the interests of their peers. We are hopeful that whoever is elected will move past the age-old smoking debate, and focus more on students’ needs than internal affairs.