Rethinking policies will lead to growth

By Gus Bode

Sometimes controversy brings solutions.

Every so often, a candidate runs in an election just to raise issues that are not being discussed, without any real intention to win. I applaud this tactic and have used this form of thought in my duties as president. I have asked for public heated discussion, so that we all may see where changes need to be made.

You are reading different opinions about how USG works (or doesn’t work), and possible solutions from quite different perspectives. What is so great is it is being talked about. In the past, students have felt extreme emotion about the productivity of the USG, but were so embarrassed, that they would not speak to the media about it. The resolution they found was to quit, go through the motions, or most responsibly:offer tremendous amounts of time to make change.


I have seen all of these situations this year. The problem with all of these is that no one knows how strong we eventually could be if more students knew about the crisis. The fact that this is being discussed and argued in the Daily Egyptian is something that is long overdue. Now that we’ve got this “fire” going, let’s really take focus. What is significantly bigger than pointing fingers are the real underlying issues:what can a student government really do and what do we want the student government to do?

The University has tons of campus committees that require one student representative to attend. These committees advise and make policy recommendations. Often these positions remain empty, or are filled by the President of the USG because he/she could not find any student to be at all the meetings. The USG has been known for being a “bank” for the Registered Student Organizations. This is not the purpose of the Student Activity Fee. Truth be told, it is a difficult task to both allocate responsibly while making requesting money for events easier. The Senate has, for as long as I’ve known, been extremely hard-pressed to fill the seats. These are areas that I see most promising for change.

I hope the students who read this paper understand that the problem must be viewed objectively, which is difficult for those of us who are members of the organization, in order to repair our student government. I encourage specifically the USG to not pick sides and point fingers, but to see where there are holes and fix them.

When I first took office as vice president, my entire view of the Undergraduate Student Government changed. I learned new things because I had different responsibilities, and I even changed the way I found solutions to problems. Now as the president, I see a way to fix everything, although it may be different than the vice president’s way or the senators’ ways. From this bickering I hope to see real accountability and respect for everyone’s perspective.