I appreciate that you have opened a dialogue about SA, but I have some concerns with your claims about what SA has or hasn’t done. First, I’d like to address the three examples you said would affect the majority of students on campus.
Tuition freezes: This issue has been in the works for years, and this year’s SA administration has made more progress than any other administration in the past on seeing a tuition freeze implemented. It is a lengthy process requiring SA to work through both the administration and the Board of Trustees. At this point, the proposal is essentially out of our hands, but I should point out – and I don’t have room to give this issue the space it deserves – that the freeze is not as glamorous of a savings as students might imagine.
Extending library hours: SA has been responsible for extending the hours during finals week. Extending them again is something we can look into, but keep in mind the amount of overhead (e.g., cost to staff the library later into the night or all night). You want your tuition to decrease, but you’re asking for more perks that will require more money. Where will that money come from?
Chapel decisions: What kind of decisions? The overall direction of Chapel, or the speakers and song selection? SA should be the voice of student concerns, and can take those to the administration, but it is also a legislative body. There’s only so much say we have in the goings on of Campus Life.
A quick list of things this “do-nothing” SA has accomplished this year: We participated in the process for the renovations of the Campus Center, lobbied the administration for a new recreation center (which is in the works), applied for grants that will impact large numbers of the student body, successfully lobbied the administration for Presidential Scholars to have the right to live off campus without significant penalty, and worked with the provost to provide a co-curricular transcript (which puts service learning on your transcript), to name a few.
I agree we need to be working on issues that students care about, but there are very few solutions that will impact the "majority of students."
Most of what SA can accomplish is helping various segments of the student population, and one by one we’ll reach every segment. Just because a project does not affect you personally doesn’t invalidate its accomplishments – they’re helping your peers.
I’d be amiss to say this administration has been perfect, or any administration for that matter, but we’re making a concerted effort to remain a strong advocate for the students of ACU. It’s my hope that the next administration will do the same.
Senior finance major from Amarillo