SGA needs to shift its focus to student concerns, not procedural frivolities

Senators during a tumultuous January legislative session. | Elise Gregg, PantherNOW

Elise Gregg | Editor-in-Chief

I’ve never watched Real Housewives before, but I imagine it to be somewhat similar to the last few sessions of student government senate. 

The last few legislative meetings have spent more time debating rules of procedure and spewing petty accusations than actually addressing concerns that involve the student body – like student engagement or academic services. 

I haven’t attended an SGA senate meeting in a while but starting spring semester, I decided to attend a few times to check back in; be up-to-date as editor-in-chief, able to work with my writers.

After the Game Room turned out to be a nicely done project, despite it being somewhat of a one-man show and having heard that SGA implemented free menstrual products in the women’s rooms, I began to see a light shining from the chambers: student government was finally getting stuff done.

Had I stayed out of Monday’s meetings, I might’ve continued to think that. 

Behind the scenes, however, our representatives are an embarrassing mess. 

During the Jan. 23 senate meeting, I had the privilege of watching nine confirmations slowly delayed during a session that was largely consumed by petty squabbling over Robert’s Rules, unnecessary roll-call votes and debates that accomplished little. 

Notably, all this occurred mere minutes after SGA president Cristhofer Lugo lectured senators for acting similarly at the last meeting. 

It’s so amusing, it almost made me wish the Graham Center sold popcorn. 

I rarely write opinion pieces considering the news section has hardened me to never use first-person, but this is too important to pass by. 

Students rarely see the inner workings of SGA: not every student may be specifically helped or hurt by them. However, we all pay the same fees that go toward paying our senators and the projects that SGA implements. 

I don’t like to think that the money I pay every semester is going towards senators spending at least half an hour every Monday arguing about what’s on the back of their placards. 

Instead, that time should be used to address and handle relevant issues. FIU has several new and returning fraternities making a comeback in the near future – some of which have less-than-stellar track records at the university.

Are SGA members planning to work with Greek Life to ensure a higher standard of behavior this time around, especially with many senators also involved with Fraternity and Sorority Life?

Is the student government taking the time to address the severe lack of advisors for FIU students, particularly for international exchange students with little to no access to academic counseling? 

The issues that SGA spends so much time arguing over, like confirmations and constitutional amendments, should certainly be addressed. However, even if those aren’t the first items on the agenda, they’ll be resolved a lot faster if senators spend less time arguing over when or how something is handled, and just do the work. 

Senators, we don’t want theatrics or drama. The Wertheim Performing Arts Center is a five-minute walk from the senate chambers if that’s more your style. 

Start using your position to actually get things done – not a single one of your constituents benefits from you using your limited resources to debate over Robert’s Rules or waste time arguing about what’s on the agenda. 

We want representatives of action, not reaction.

Be the first to comment on "SGA needs to shift its focus to student concerns, not procedural frivolities"

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.