Student Government serves to convey the needs of and represent the Texas State student body to the university administration, but its latest meetings have shown that the organization, as it currently stands, is nothing more than a performative mouthpiece present to skirt around legislation that can improve student life on campus.
With elections on the horizon Feb. 15-17, it is imperative we vote for change.
The lack of student voting in the previous Student Government elections came back to haunt us this year. The student body has been left with a Student Government administration that cares more about playing dress up and bringing personal disputes into official business — getting nothing meaningful done as a result and making previous inept administrations look competent.
Meetings have not consisted of how to best accommodate students during a pandemic that has altered lives for the worst, nor has there been much conversation about what needs to happen to make students of color feel like they belong on this campus.
Instead, the focus has been placed on back-and-forth disputes. The recent tabling of seven resolutions with intentions to better the lives of students on campus, including the Adopting of Trans-friendly Preferred Naming and Pronoun Policies, was absolutely disgraceful to the student body.
But it was not surprising, nor was it the first time this school year that Student Government has spent more time on ridiculous internal disputes than fighting for students. Last semester’s drama between Vice President Andrew Florence and Parliamentarian Cody DeSalvo was the start.
DeSalvo accused Florence of neglecting to consistently send meeting attendance records to the parliamentarian and senate leader, as required.
Florence argued that meeting records had always been available through Canvas. Senator Matthew Smith thought DeSalvo’s complaint was wrongful, and he drafted a vote-of-no-confidence resolution for the removal of DeSalvo.
The vote-of-no-confidence resolution eventually passed by a vote of 14-13-2, with Florence breaking the original 13-13 tie in the vote. (Yes, the person accused of wrongdoing was able to cast a vote against his accuser.)
However, DeSalvo argued that the passage of the resolution was unconstitutional since the Student Government Constitution states that a two-thirds vote is needed to remove the parliamentarian and the senate leader. DeSalvo was then ordered back into office.
We highlight that fiasco to convey that a large sum of Student Government representatives only participate in the organization to re-enact reality television. We previously hesitated writing this editorial in fear of giving an illegitimate administration our attention, but we now realize there is too much at stake.
A dispute about attendance records is just outright ridiculous; there is no other way to put it. Tabling issues that affect the LGBTQIA+ community at Texas State demonstrates a lack of care and representation for students who have every right to feel included on this campus. Shifting the focus instead to extending Thanksgiving break (amid an ongoing pandemic) and advocating for more freedom regarding mask-wearing (as more contagious variants of COVID-19 make their way through the U.S.) shows blatant ignorance and disregard for public safety measures.
Having a governing body in place to represent the student body but instead uses its time to focus on itself serves no purpose at all, which is why it is important that we vote. Especially when voting is accessible through our mobile devices.
We are not without fault. As an editorial board, we also carry the responsibility to vote for those who represent the student body in an adequate manner — and some of us, too, have failed to do so. Truthfully, many of us have not voted in previous Student Government elections. We can assure you that will change this time around.
Student Government is an organization in place to voice our concerns to administrators, strive to make a change and enhance the quality of life on campus for students. More effort should go toward electing representatives who actually care about all students. We all owe it to ourselves to not have to deal with this mess any longer.