While I can’t speak for all fellow students, I know I am disappointed in StuCo’s most recent effort, and hope the group can find success in the future.
From election reform that never materialized, near constant controversy around members, little transparency regarding budgets and inconsistent punishments when rules are broken, there is a clear direction the group needs to take from here.
In short, it’s time for the members of Student Congress to step their game up and start acting like elected officials, representing our student body.
This has been an issue since before I started my schooling here, with articles in the Owl dating earlier than 2015 and comments from StuCo members, expressing disappointment in the image of the group.
I believe that if the 2019/2020 Student Congress shares this disappointment, there is only one way to change the groups image.
Student Congress needs to give itself plainly stated, strong guidelines for senator expectations, and the response when those guidelines are broken should be simple. Punishments consisting of resignation or replacement, with either high standards for reentry, or none whatsoever, depending on the offense.
There must be no more parties in the office, no more fake IDs and most importantly no more inconsistent punishments for members in the group.
There must be a clear code of conduct for Student Congress, and it needs to reflect reasonable expectations for elected officials.
I do believe it is possible to repair the image of Student Congress, but I think it is going to take serious action on behalf of Senators and the Exec Board.
For the future, I wish StuCo the best of luck, because while many students may not realize it, or appreciate it, their position is extremely important, and their role as a liaison between administration and everyday students can not be understated.
They are a crucial piece of the Doane experience, which is why it is so important that the group pulls itself out of the rut it has been stuck in.
It is essential though, the organization must make these strides forward as soon as possible, and create tangible change in the group.
To those just now entering office, please don’t let this column discourage you, because ultimately, for Student Congress to be the organization it has the potential to be, change must come from within.