Bylaws? Just get it done

by Beacon Staff • April 1, 2009

In spite of its name, the Student Government Association rarely governs. The body passes non-binding resolutions, not hard and fast legislation. Their primary goal is to advocate for students, to speak out on their behalf and to transcend the bickering and deadlock that usually plagues large gatherings of students trying to accomplish anything.

SGA President Scott Fisher has done this masterfully, leading the charge to implement an alcohol amnesty policy, gaining administrative attention on gender-neutral housing and fighting to keep tuition down.

But with eyes wide shut to Fisher's accomplishments, Nick Vargas, Fisher's opponent, whined and moaned: Fisher doesn't follow the rules. He keeps us in the dark.

In the question period after the speeches, Fisher was accused of abusing power. He was accused of unconstitutionally signing "SGA President" on a letter to the Board of Trustees, as well as unconstitutionally forming a Facebook group, in his campaign for affordable tuition. Fisher's efforts, which asked the Trustees to freeze tuition and infuse more transparency into the process, may have helped win the smallest tuition increase in seven years.

In the wake of the Bush presidency, we all know the dangers of unchecked power. But Vargas should take heed: We're not talking about secret CIA prisons, we're talking about Facebook. The only people who know or care about SGA's bylaws are the SGA. No one else does. And they really shouldn't: SGA has no power to abuse.

Students should care about what SGA is doing for us. And, in spite of his obstructionist opponents, Fisher has done a lot.

He has been a tireless advocate for all Emerson students. While, on the other hand, Vargas spent Speech Night declaring his fealty to his cronies in SGA and administrators whose feathers have been ruffled by Fisher's pro-student policies.

"His ideas are refreshing," Vargas said after the event. "But the way he goes about it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of students and the administration."

Actually, nothing tastes better than an effective advocate working tirelessly on your behalf. With all Fisher has and is poised to do, there's no reason to "hook the right fish."

iChris Girard is a junior political communication major and opinion edior of /iThe Beacon.