When I walked into Commonwealth Auditorium for the Student Assembly presidential debate, I was struck by just how empty the rather large venue was.
Fittingly, each candidate spoke about increasing student involvement and finding new ways for the average student’s voice to be heard. Each candidate proposed some sort of plan to enhance communication between student organizations and the SA. Likewise, each one noted the need to revamp the SA website and increase transparency through media coverage.
Each candidate is intelligent and hard working and has demonstrated effective leadership at the College. They are all equally capable of leading the SA and tackling the challenges that they all agree to be of primary importance. However, there was one proposal in particular that I found to be strikingly different from the others.
Dylan Frendt ’14 proposed that applications, and not appointments, should determine who fills certain upper-level SA positions. Frendt’s proposal is not in line with the status quo of SA procedure: It undeniably empowers the student body. By at least considering individuals from the student body at large, rather than just the remote SA bureaucracy, the SA can become more relevant to students because it will give students the opportunity to become involved if they are qualified.
Frendt’s plan would not only facilitate student communication with the SA, but also it would convince students that becoming part of the SA is within their reach. The disturbing lack of debate attendees indicates just how crucial it is that the SA revamps its student outreach efforts — crucial enough that a complete overhaul of an established guideline should be proposed and enacted. If not, the SA will continue to be an isolated body that is of no relevance to the average student. Now is the time to break up the status quo.
Email Beatrice Loayza at firstname.lastname@example.org.