Change in SGA leadership a chance for improvement

by Beacon Staff • November 17, 2011

strongAt issue:/strong

SGA president departing after one semester of service.

strongOur take: /strong

Top SGA Positions require longevity.

At the end of this semester, President Jeffrey Rizzi will depart as the leader of the Student Government Association to study in Los Angeles, putting an end to an unusually short term that began when he stepped up to take a position that nobody wanted. His presidency has marked a semester in which our SGA representatives appear to lack the vigor and accountability of past years’ student assemblies.

This followed the year-long presidency of Cami Bravo, who like Rizzi, seemed ill-groomed for to succeed three-term President Scott Fisher. Fisher brought a level of professionalism and engagement to the office of SGA president that has not been matched since.

We endorsed Rizzi — who made a name for himself crusading for increased performing and practice space as an activist performing arts senator — when he announced his unopposed candidacy last spring, offering to take a job that was otherwise unsought.

However, he appears to have been a placeholder. Now, Vice President Tau Zaman — the defacto president — has the opportunity to bring SGA back to the commitment and dedication that we so admired about Fisher’s presidency. Zaman has served for three semesters as vice president and has continuously advocated for a diverse agenda of causes, from campus food reform to the creation of an LGBT lounge, which he has championed since serving as LGBT commissioner as a freshman.

Last year, Zaman told the Beacon that he was reluctant to step up as a presidential candidate, because he wished to remain an advocate and a voting member of the governing bloc of the SGA. As he ascends to the highest seat on campus, we urge him to put his strong opinions aside and become an even-handed arbiter of the student government.