Editorial: A message to SGA
Burn The Ballots
Dear members of SGA, this election is illegitimate.
This election must be vacated and we, as a Loyola community, must start over.
And this time, let's do this by the book, because if you want to change the constitution, at least prove you're capable of following one.
Anybody voting in this year's SGA election will notice some glaring holes on the ballot: Every position that would be cut by the proposed new constitution was conveniently omitted from the ballot. Senators-at-Large? College Presidents? All gone.
That means that this election fails to fulfill the requirements spelled out in the constitution - the current law of the land.
Don't jump the gun SGA. The students haven't spoken yet.
Failing to provide a complete field of candidates sends a clear message to voters, and we hear that message loud and clear. We hear that you aren't taking voters' opinions into account. We see that SGA isn't even waiting for a rubber stamp from the students before moving on with its own plans.
If attempting to cut more than half of our elected officials didn't say that voters don't matter to SGA, then not even giving us the chance to vote before making major changes definitely does.
SGA must be under the impression that, as voters, we can't think for ourselves. It's time to prove them wrong.
It is time for us to act, Loyola.
We must step up. We must get involved.
The Maroon attends the weekly SGA meetings. We know that if it were not for the journalists and the students required to go to fulfill an assignment, then there would be a whole lot of empty chairs in the audience of the Senate meeting each week.
This is our government. And if we want a representative democracy, then now is the time to start making our voices heard.
If we don't get involved now, then we are going to get the government that we deserve.
So, where do we go from here?
We move forward.
Lets begin by electing a Senate according to the current constitution. No good can come from hastily adopting a secretly drafted constitution that guts student representation and that was written through a process that failed to seek out student voices and input.
Let's open the constitutional discussion to the student body.
Engage outside groups to hold forums about proposed changes. Tell the students why these changes are essential. Don't just ram the changes down our throats.
Plead your case. Prove your points.
Get feedback and input from the students. Try actually asking your constituents what we want in our constitution - OUR constitution.
We are sure there are plenty of organizations on campus that would love to be involved in this process - Loyola Society for Civic Engagement comes to mind, as do the College Democrats.
Then, once you have gathered feedback, debate the proposed changes - in public. If Senators feel uncomfortable allowing their constituents to hear their views, then they are unfit for office.
Allow students time to read and digest the constitutional changes.
Don't drop it on the SGA's website six days before a vote. These "mundane things" take some time to digest.
Then, let's vote on the constitution - while we are in less of a rush.
Yes, this is going to take time. But, government is inherently complex and slow moving. Rushing through the process feels less like the deliberative tradition handed to us by our founding fathers and more like the strongman politics of the third world.
And then, Loyola, your responsibilities don't end there.
Go to the weekly SGA meetings, go to your elected officials' office hours, let them know that Loyola deserves a government that represents the entire campus, and not just portions of it.
But remember: To be represented, you first must speak up.
Changes to the constitution could be the death of the student voice, or they could be our government's saving grace, but that's for the students to decide, not SGA. Start over and do this right.
Let's put the constitution on the ballot - properly this time - and let the students decide what our government should look like. Hold an election that meets the students' needs, not yours.
SGA, please, stop telling us you're raising accountability while you are throwing it in the trash.
And to you, the students, in case you were still unsure of what to do - vote no on the proposed constitutional amendments and get involved in drafting a new one.
This editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board.
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