It has long been said that the Student Government Association is an irrelevant organization, visible only at election time. For the most part, they are exactly right. There is no point in arguing something that is true more often than not. Of course, many responses could contest such a core-cutting statement, and this largely depends upon which building on campus you most commonly reside.
Those of us, like myself, who frequently spend time in Old Main, could point to the lack of political power that the organization possesses (just ask the administration about their reception to SGA’s desire to reduce tuition to $3,000). Olin inhabitants might argue that much of the work that SGA does goes unrecognized, failing to be communicated to the student body. Students in Offutt could cite the lack of a demand for the supply of SGA services because really, when you think about it, we’re dealing with some choice first-world problems. Despite all these weak attempts at justification, one simple fact remains: Student Government cannot be the legitimate organization it ought to be alone. We need student input and feedback, just like an O-Chem student needs the puppies in the Atrium on Finals Study Day; it’s a symbiotic relationship.
Looking forward to the next year, it would be easy to promise to work on accomplishing our platform initiatives, and kudos to you if you can recall three of them. We’ll certainly do whatever we can to improve the parking situation and increase building access hours, but I feel like that’s a cheap answer. My goal for the upcoming year is to give students an organization they can be proud of, one that does more than throw its name behind campus projects but, instead, is transparent in its activities and aggressive in its workload.
I wish I could promise that SGA will hold tuition at its current level or install a three-level parking garage, but let’s be honest, we know that is simply not possible. Instead, we will undertake any and all work where we have a chance at improving the Concordia student experience. It all comes back to forging a stronger connection between SGA and the student body. To use an analogy, just like my favorite sport, SGA is very similar to a pole vaulter—utterly worthless without a pole, the means by which he or she attempts to accomplish goals. Concordia’s students are the means that gives SGA the opportunity to achieve worthwhile goals.
We need your voice, your passion and your support to accomplish anything truly worthwhile. In the next year, we hope to make our meetings more accessible to students (check us out on Thursday nights) and utilize newly created student committees, comprised of both SGA and non-SGA members, to follow through on some of the initiatives that have fallen through the cracks in the past. I can’t and won’t promise something we can’t deliver, but I do promise to do everything in my power to give Concordia College the Student Government Association that it deserves.
This letter to the editor was submitted by Levi Bachmeier, President of SGA 2013-2014.