Dear Editor,

To the student body that is mad, distrustful or even just annoyed at their student government, thank you.

I thank you with the deepest sincerity. I am an elected student government representative and I am so glad you are angry with us. I see your anger and I am here for it. I love it.

Your anger is at the abuse your representatives have put you through. That is a just and beautiful anger.

Last year, Student Government made incredible errors in its governance of the student body. Our former president, Connor Clegg, put a massive target on a fellow student’s back, he lied to the student body, he misrepresented the students’ interests. He abused his power.

Our former Chief of Staff, Alec Garza, lost forever dozens of legislative pieces that we wrote and attempted to enact.

Our Chief Justice, John Garcia, deceived the student body and pretended to throw a resignation temper tantrum when Dr. Arellano used her constitutional right to review the impeachment appeal and overturn the Supreme Court’s decision to not impeach, when he vocalized consistently his plan to resign as soon as they published their findings.

So many of our previous Senators missed the most important meeting of the semester, possibly out of collusion, abuse of power and a general disrespect for their duty as a representative.

Our former president, Brooklyn Boering, and current president, Ruben Becerra, have not yet acknowledged their pain their campaign practices have caused the student body. Neither has answered honestly the extent of their cooperation with the Turning Point or how TP student representatives Stormi Rodriguez and Collin Pruett played hands in their campaign decisions.

Your anger is totally justified. But like everything else, it has to change because the situation has changed. Most of those people that wronged you so much last year are not here anymore. If you are going to be angry at us, please, be angry for what we have done.

Everything from last year changed because of your anger. Clegg was removed, Garza quit, those Senators did not return because of your anger at their misrepresentation. Representative government has always worked this way; Representatives being mostly afraid to give the people what they want and need until the people use their power and take it from their government. That’s how we have affirmative action, the right to vote, marriage equality. There were some representatives inside trying to get all of it done, working the bureaucratic channels, writing the legislation, but every time, without fail, it was the people who got it passed.

I know you hate Student Government right now, but I have to insist that it’s only because for years no one cared about student government before you came along getting mad at it. And since no one cared about it, it was slowly filling up with representatives who didn’t care about you. But then you got mad, you scared your representatives away and now who you are left with is a different ball game.

I can’t speak for them but I feel strongly that the old Senators and the Graduate House shared in your anger a great deal last year. The new Senators, most of them signed up for the job specifically to be not what the Clegg-Merritt administration was like.

So your anger must change. It must change to be effective. I’m not saying to go out and find a reason to dislike us, but I do welcome your scrutiny, your rage, your input, all of your feelings. Representation works only if the governed body is engaged. You can ask us to resign, ask us to vote a certain way, ask us to write legislation or meet with certain administrators.

Most of our student body are people with a great deal of privilege. We live in the U.S., most of us are citizens, most of us can afford to go to college, we had quality public or private education prior to attending here. It is our responsibility to use the privilege and remain involved, advocating for what those with less privilege than us have said they need. It’s our responsibility to participate and scrutinize our government because, for the rest of our lives, it will not go away. We must be politically involved because the power of organization of resources can always get more misused by any government.

With great appreciation,

Claudia Gasponi

Senator – University College

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