SGA should choose Snelgrove over snacks

by Beacon Staff • November 1, 2006

Recent action by our own student leaders rendered a shocking answer to this question.

According to the Student Government Association (SGA), the organization charged with distributing over $400,000 in undergraduate activity fees this year, the snacks take top prize.,Which is worth more: the memory of a student tragically killed or overpriced food?

Recent action by our own student leaders rendered a shocking answer to this question.

According to the Student Government Association (SGA), the organization charged with distributing over $400,000 in undergraduate activity fees this year, the snacks take top prize.

At a recent meeting, elected student leaders decided to provide hungry students attending Nov. 6's "Town Meeting" event with nearly $200 worth of Aramark-produced snacks.

During the same meeting, SGA members also decided against giving $150 to a scholarship honoring Torie Snelgrove, the Emerson broadcast journalism student who was fatally shot during the October 2004 riot that followed a league championship win over the New York Yankees.

With so much funding at its disposal, the SGA's recent show of stinginess leads The Beacon to wonder exactly what determines a good enough cause for the SGA to take on.

After Snelgrove's death, members of the 2004/2005 student government board elected not to take a stand against so-called "less lethal" weapons, rejecting a request for the organization to join hundreds of Emersonians who signed a petition put forth by a non-profit group.

At the time, SGA members said they were fearful of attaching the student government's name to a politicized petition circulated by a peace-oriented group.

Instead, it tarnished its image by refusing to stand by an enraged student body that was still racked with both grief over the loss of Snelgrove and anger at Boston Police and the city officials who were slow to take responsibility for the shooting and halfhearted about the situation when they actually did.

Now, some of our current representatives are reluctant to give a mere $150-less than the student activity fee Snelgrove would have paid if she were still alive and enrolled at Emerson-because the proposal didn't come with enough documentation.

How much documentation does the SGA really need to justify putting less than 0.001 percent of total student fees toward a scholarship honoring the memory of a fallen student?

Some board members were also opposed to the idea that SGA funds paid by every undergraduate student would go toward a scholarship only benefiting journalism students.

While The Beacon enjoys 8 percent of the SGA's yearly student-fueled budget, we are forced by this recent assertion to wonder how refusing money for a journalism scholarship is any different than the thousands of dollars poured each year into accounts for organizations targeting students in specific majors, such as The Emerson Review, FPS and the Musical Theatre Society.

If the SGA is seriously committed to providing funding only for causes and organizations that truly serve a plurality of students, it should spend time refocusing its commitment to the people it is supposed to serve: all Emerson undergraduates.

As is the case with many planned SGA events, it is unlikely that a large number of participants will show up for Monday's Town Meeting. Most, in fact, will probably be journalism students assigned to cover the event for class.

And no matter how tasty those treats may be at first bite, students will still be left with a sour taste in their mouths.