Opinion

EDITORIAL: Where’s my SG?

As a university moving to the forefront of local and national political activism and awareness, it’s imperative that we hold our own Student Government [SG] to the same high standards and criticism as we do local, state, and national governments.

Sure, SG was named “Best SG in Florida” last year, but don’t forget that was under very different leadership, one that accomplished everything they said they would and that was almost always accessible to students whenever they needed.

So far, a lack of initiative, production, and communication has led to a dysfunctional (or non-functional) SG this year. Their list of accomplishments include- hold on a sec there’s got to be something- oh yeah, they extended library hours during finals to 24 hours, and also extended Ibis Ride hours on Halloween. According to students we’ve spoken with, SG should have added more shuttles, not more hours.

More recently, SG has proven to The Miami Hurricane that it needs to change. After receiving many complaints regarding SG’s performance, we decided to begin investigating their actions, or lack thereof. We requested a copy of their constitution, which we never got because they were “updating it.” We also requested a list of Cabinet and Senate members, which we never got. Last week, we requested a copy of the SG budget and financial records and were instructed by Carlos Echeverri, SG speaker, that they “see no reason” to provide us with the information.

Apparently he forgot to read the SG constitution, which states that all matters of SG are open to the public.

When The Hurricane attempted to contact Echeverri regarding this issue, we were repeatedly ignored. Several phone calls, voice mails, email messages, and personal visits to the SG office were ignored.

Finally on Friday, we visited the SG office and found SG President Scott Sadowski sitting in his office. After explaining to him the issue of our requests repeatedly being denied, he merely told us that we had to speak with Mr. Echeverri. When questioned about how else we could contact Mr. Echeverri, he said he knew he had a cell phone, but didn’t know the number.

In addition to the utter disregard of the constitution, the mere fact that the President had absolutely no idea how to contact the Speaker of the Senate made us wonder. How can SG be serving the students? How can they communicate student needs and concerns to the administration, if the President doesn’t even know how to get in touch with his Speaker?

What is a student to do?

Most importantly, stop by YOUR SG office (you elected them after all) and see what they have been up to this semester. Schedule a meeting with SG president Scott Sadowski to discuss any and all problems that you may be having

You can also ask for the minutes from Senate meetings to find out what they deem important matters, or ask them for their financial records to see just how much they spend on their dinners out or lavish retreats.

And, if they tell you, like they told The Hurricane, that they see no reason to give anything to you, kindly tell them to open their constitution, the reason is right there in Article II Section III: “All records of Student Government shall be on public record and available on request at the mutual convenience of the Senate and the party requesting access.”

November 11, 2003

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


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The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.