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Editorial: Advice to our future president

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The Maroon was going to endorse a candidate for SGA president, but since there’s only one candidate, it would be meaningless and comical to do that. We could endorse candidates for the Senate, but there are more than enough seats for the number of students running for them, so they’re all going to get the seats by default. In effect, there is no race for any position in the SGA this spring.

Instead of making an endorsement, we think it’s much more relevant to explain to the candidates and the student body what needs to change.

The SGA doesn’t focus on the things that matter, while they matter. There were several issues this school year that had the students interested and willing to do something: major budget cuts, the Black Student Union’s petition, the vote of “no confidence” against the Rev. Kevin Wildes, S.J., university president and the perennial Wi-Fi issue. The only one of these issues that was addressed by the SGA was the Wi-Fi, and it was weeks after the issue exploded on campus.

There were so many instances where the SGA could have proved to the students that they listen to their concerns and promptly act to improve, but they didn’t. Students have learned from experience that the SGA isn’t going to solve their problems. Why should the student body devote their time to students who only want to play government?

The obvious counter-example to this is last spring, in 2015, when the administration decided they wanted to impose the meal plan on some commuter students who wouldn’t have gotten it without being forced to. Almost instinctually, the SGA acted and got that postponed. A small victory, but confidence in the SGA was at a high it never is. This goes to show that the SGA isn’t permanently irrelevant.

The SGA consistently fails at communicating to the students. Unless The Maroon reports it or someone has a friend in the SGA, no one hears about anything they’re doing. Actually, scratch that. We always know when and where the free food is.

Their Facebook page shouldn’t be the primary form of communication, yet, that’s really the only place students can go if they want to know what the SGA is doing. There isn’t anywhere that students can look to see who their representatives in the Senate are.  It would be very effective to start an email newsletter, but that has apparently not crossed anyone’s mind. If no one knows what’s going on, how can they get involved?

The SGA’s procedures are unclear, ignored or changed on a whim. How the presidential election traditionally works is that candidates for president and vice president are elected separately, but often campaign with each other. This year, the election procedure was changed – unannounced and without student input – so that the candidates for president and vice president had to run as a ticket. By the time students were told about this, potential candidates only had a few days to find a running mate. There were people who wanted to run that were prevented from doing so because they couldn’t find a running mate in time. The rules should allow more people to run, not fewer.

In addition, the SGA ignored their constitution and barred students from running for a position which they plainly should have been allowed to because they’re pushing an amendment to get rid of that position. If the amendment fails, they probably would get the Senate to vote amongst themselves who should fill these positions, as is tradition. The problem with this is that their tradition also violates the constitution. How can anyone who wants to be involved come into this confused system and make heads or tails of it?

Our lack of endorsement for a presidential candidate isn’t meant to be a slight to the people running. We have high hopes for Ellie Diaz and Gabby Henry because they are capable of making the changes that the SGA so desperately needs.

Still, it’s embarrassing that they’re the only candidates, and that all the senatorial candidates are guaranteed victory at the gate. We have a non-race this year because of the deteriorating confidence in the SGA, and all of these issues are some of the contributing factors that the new SGA should put their energy into changing.

The editorial represents the majority opinions of The Maroon’s editorial board and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Loyola University. 

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About the Writer
Gage Counts, Managing Editor for Electronic Properties
R. Gage is an economics junior and the Managing Editor for Electronic Properties. He was previously a guest columnist and the Opinion and Editorial Editor. His journalistic interests currently include campus life and culture, university politics and the news industry. When not in The Maroon’s office, R. Gage can be found around campus, drinking and...
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Editorial: Advice to our future president