This year, SA has come closer to “doing something” than it has in a long time.
For a while now, the Students’ Association has yearned to matter.
This year’s seniors look wistfully back at the days when, as they put it, “SA did something.”
This year has had its ups and downs, the lowest when Congress deadlocked over the “big shake-up” about SA organization, which turned out to not be so big, and much of which has been passed in smaller bills.
The highest point is happening right now, as a flurry of bills, resolutions and amendments are reworking SA into a body focused on advocacy for the student body.
If Congress continues to talk out and rework legislation to the best interests of the student body, the 82nd Congress could begin work with a whole new mission.
Simultaneously, Congress is refocusing on being congressional.
Parliamentary procedure, too often overlooked in recent years, is making a comeback.
As a legislative body, Congress is supposed to be professional, exemplary and orderly.
Parliamentary procedure is the framework in which Congress must work.
Still, troubling signs continue as SA begins transitioning to a new group of executive officers, a new set of class officers and a brand new representative body.
Recent joint efforts between SA and Campus Life have been beneficial for the student body-fixing SATV, planning a Chapel forum, setting up a war discussion.
But close ties with the administration should not cloud exactly whom the Students’ Association represents.
SA has failed to accurately assess or represent the student body’s opinion on the year-long Chapel controversy, partly because some feared alienating administrators and fraying ties with those who both run Chapel and work with SA. SA stands for Students’ Association, not Administrators’ Association.
As advocacy becomes the sole focus of Congress members, the line will grow thinner between working with the administration for the students and contending with the administration for the students.
The line is thin. It’s easy to fall off.
But as SA’s mission gets clearer and better, it must be walked expertly.