Opinion

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

Re: “Tips on how to overhaul SG Senate”, 2/25

We in Student Government appreciate feedback from the student body on how to become better. However, not all feedback is perfect, and I am more than happy to clarify misconceptions in Don Donelson’s column.

1. Saying that Senate is inefficient and ineffective would neglect all the projects, constructive bills and resolutions, funding allocations, and such work that senators do for the students. You might ask, “SG actually does stuff?” Look at senator profiles and the senate projects list on the SG website (www.miami.edu/sg), and see for yourself. You will be more informed when writing your next opinion column.

2. There is a reason why organizations have Senate seats. I, as Hecht Senator, can not represent FEC members in regards to their student activity issues or the organizations they interact with, despite Cubans living in Hecht. Rather, I address residential issues. Academic senators do not represent student activities either but more so academic needs. So, how can all student activity issues be represented by class, academic or residential senators?

3. Many seats usually do not go uncontested because one person could run for so many seats. Think about the time commitment required by senators, including weekly Senate and committee meetings, talks with administrators about projects, and listening to students’ needs. Many do not have the time or the desire to put in the time. And with the meeting absence policy in Senate, lax senators will be removed if their minimal obligations are not met.

Could Senate become more efficient and less bureaucratic? I believe so, but it cannot be done overnight. Removing various organizational seats was thought of years ago and still to this day. But we can not order what goes and what doesn’t without the students’ voice. That would defeat the purpose of SG.

So, if Donald Trump was CEO of UM SG Senate Inc.,…oh wait, he can’t buy his way into Senate. He would have to get elected, as do the senators of SG.

John Constantinide

Hecht Residential College Senator

Student Government

March 4, 2005

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