Imagine watching a debate. There are several people in the discussion; all of them possess strong opinions. Some employ a rational, friendly voice, while their counter-parts are educated monkeys.
The monkeys hear, but they do not listen; they talk, but never say anything; they wear suits, but play in the mud while worshipping fleas. However, each man and monkey cares about their community and strives to make it a better place in their own unique way.
This is not a reference to our major political system, but the student government in our own college.
Our Student Government Association (SGA) meets two days a week: Monday and Tuesday.
During Monday meetings, discussions are ideal. Ben Kramer, the advisor of the SGA, is mostly silent, and each word spoken is productive. Ideas are logical and decisions feel completely fair, debated with calm, respectful tones.
Tuesdays are less organized, though. Those are the days man becomes monkey, and Kramer’s voice is required.
Like simians, Tuesday officials speak without raising their hands. Conversations and topics begin with a raised hand, but quickly progress to discourteous conversation, resulting in less group discussion and two or three people doing a majority of the talking. Tones vary from devoted to authoritative and pretentious.
Both meetings have a tendency to be repetitive. Several senators mentioned that the SGA had discussed office rules and security from late September to mid-October before reaching an agreement. Perhaps more surprising is that when this fact was mentioned in a meeting, several minutes were spent elaborating how horrible it was, as if the fact was not convincing enough.
Disorganized as the meetings are, the SGA does a good job with special events and occasionally affects change. In fact, whether they plan a miniscule change or a large-scale event, our governing body can earn note-worthy results.
An example of a miniscule task would be the attempt to control lounge profanity. Most profanity originates from lounge activities, so warning signs have been placed by every gaming platform (pool, ping pong and the Xbox area). Reportedly, levels of profanity declined, though direct discipline has been required. A previous offender admitted, “Yeah, I used to curse, but someone from the SGA got onto me. I felt pretty bad, so I stopped.” The SGA has reserved the right to take away games if problems reoccur.
The SGA also participates in holiday activities such as Scare Fair, a Halloween festivity, and the costume contest in New River‘s campus site.
Out of their entire to-do list, our S.G.A performs best when organizing events that truly draw our community together. Charities like the “Cans for Gas” project (explained in greater detail by Timothy Hurzog’s article) and the Blood Mobile are respectable proofs.
The Blood Mobile blood drive, conducted on the 22nd of October, was highly attended by students. Those who donated blood were complimentary of the SGA’s support, and their free hot dogs.
One student, Michael Loker, expressed that he “feels privileged” to work with the SGA. Someone whose life was saved by a blood transfusion, Loker added, “I think it’s very necessary. It’s a good opportunity for kids like me to give back what I took.”
Sandy Myers, the Donor Recruitment Representative, spoke highly of the blood drive. “[It’s] the best we’ve had in recent memory,” she said, revealing the most comparable success had been conducted more than eight years ago. In other words, the recent blood drive raised the bar for the 21st century, and the SGA helped set it high.
Myers continued, “This SGA has been a dynamic group,” and she was completely accurate. All of the SGA members were friendly at the blood drive and fully competent. If someone became too woozy, an SGA member would stand by him. If someone needed help of any kind, a member was happy to oblige.
With their energetic approach to helping the community, our student government can make a difference. Should they quit the monkey business in meetings, they could become more than a tribe of do-gooders.
[Editor’s note: The SGA welcomes students to voice their problems and opinions at both weekly meetings.]