The Optimist Editorial Board thinks that the best leaders on our campus “have better places to be” than the ACU Students’ Association. We disagree. SA is blessed with the unique opportunity to serve the entire student body in a multitude of ways. Most importantly, SA serves as the voice of the student body to both the University administration and our surrounding community. Our budget serves as a tool to empower those same student groups that the Optimist Editorial Board says have stolen leaders away from SA.
Our point is that the underlying value of SA has not changed. We are the first to admit that participation should be higher, but just because there are fewer people running for office does not mean that SA has somehow lost its institutional value. In fact, the constitutional amendments we have proposed aim to increase participation and to represent students from a diverse set of backgrounds and interests.
In some ways, we agree with the board’s opinion. Student groups are the lifeblood of our campus. There are great student leaders throughout our campus, from COBA and OME to groups like Red Thread and Wildcat Reign. One of the main purposes of SA is to empower these groups.
Students’ Association is no different. There is great leadership and initiative from our 40-plus members of SA who encompass majors from every college at ACU. But SA has a special quality to it.
SA is the one student organization on campus that has been endowed by the university to be the authoritative voice of the student body. The magic of SA is electoral power. No other organization on campus faces the entirety of the student body the way SA does. No other organization has its leadership determined by the popular vote of the whole student body. This element alone makes the institution of SA unique and worthy of involvement. Students may be less involved in SA than in the past, but that does not mean that its value has changed at all. Through the work of connecting students and administration, we hope to make SA an even more representative body for everyone.