Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Staff Editorial: We Need a New Secretary, SG

An inexperienced secretary is better than no secretary

Since the beginning of this month, the student body has been left without a Student Government Secretary due to former Secretary Faith Rokowski’s resignation. Although the absence was notable, we believed that SG would be able to find a suitable replacement quickly in order to keep operations running smoothly. However, within the past few weeks that the student body has been without an official new secretary, SG has spent more time engaging in dramatics than actively seeking to fill the position.

On Sunday, September 4, the AUSG Senate denied confirmation of Rosalie Black as secretary. Chosen by SG President Devontae Torriente, Black was nominated in a closed application process. Vice President Samantha Vervaeke dissented from both Torriente and McDermott, stating that she would rather see Interim Secretary Kris Schneider appointed as Secretary. Much of the opposition surrounding Black’s nomination came from the closed process in which she was nominated and her lack of experience in SG. Many members of the Senate also doubted Black’s ability to do the job of Secretary as someone with no prior student government experience,.

While SG has taken a good initiative on many issues facing members of the campus community, the levels of infighting among members is both inappropriate and unprofessional. Many of these leaders are in paid positions, elected by students to represent them to administrators and the rest of campus. This being said, the failure to lead a proper process to choose and confirm a secretary only further perpetuates the organization’s reputation for histrionics.

The executive board and the senate are not acting cohesively as two complementary bodies. The comments various members of the senate made while discussing whether to confirm Black as a candidate were degrading and hurtful. This culture not only makes it difficult for the campus community to trust these leaders; but it also alienated some members of the organization. Less than a month into the school year, two student senators have already resigned from their posts after the Sept. 4 meeting.

Additionally, as a notable organization on campus, SG’s ability to communicate with other clubs and organizations has been impaired due to its lack of a secretary. The frazzled outreach and communication coming from the SG as it stands without a secretary proves how imperative it is for the senate to confirm a new secretary - and quickly. Although the new process set forth by the executive board to open applications is more equitable, it comes far later than it should, leaving the student body waiting nearly a month before a new secretary can get to work in October.

While we recognize that the members of Student Government are students first, it is time for them to put our activity fees, which pay their salaries, to work in productive ways rather than squabbling over technicalities. It is time for them to focus on doing the work they have promised us to do and put aside their pettiness. We need a Secretary, SG, and we need one now.

edpage@theeagleonline.com


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