Flames of The Torch

Student Government, Inc. met quorum this week – for about 15 minutes. The most powerful organization on campus has struggled with attendance all year, and it is about time they live up to their $1.1 million budget. SGI needs to tell its voting members to be in attendance or forfeit their positions.

But do not pass the blame on SGI as a whole. This is about individuals missing bimonthly meetings. However, the problem becomes cancerous when nearly half of SGI’s voting members are not in attendance. Monday’s meeting opened with 17 members in attendance, two short to make quorum.” If they’re being elected and they’re not showing up…and we’re at the meetings,” Research and Development Committee co-chair Michael Perez said, “it means that we want to do this, it means we want to be here.” And there are students that want to be there.

“It’s very easy to just come in here and raise your hand and leave,” Perez said.

Eventually, SGI counted enough members to vote on a few organizations seeking the power to organize. Still,the most powerful organization on campus has demonstrated a lack of unity and organization as many of its voting members have failed to adhere to its bylaws.

“People need to be there on time when they’re told to be there,” School of Pharmacy representative Lawrence King said.

“So we’re looking to bring accountability back by enforcing our bylaws of attendance. You’re not allowed to miss three meetings in a row or five per year. If you do, you’re supposed to be removed as a representative. That’s something we’re looking to get strict on.”

By failing to meet quorum, SGI hurts its reputation as the voice of the student body. But even more importantly, they hurt students who are looking to receive funding for their organization.

“[Not meeting quorum]…doesn’t allow our E-board to weigh in on what they need,” King said. “It hurts the students and it makes us look really bad too. Last night, there were four or five organizations coming for power to organize…We didn’t have quorum, than we had quorum, it just makes us look really bad.”

But give SGI some credit. Their active members have realized the problem and addressed it. No one in SGI is pretending that the organization is running smoothly. Some of the remarks from voting members in attendance last Monday are extremely telling.

King explained, “We’re a powerful organization with a huge budget but we can’t be inconvenienced to show up for a meeting every other week.”

CPS representative Sylvio Lamisere said, “It’s in the bylaws that if you miss a certain number of meetings, you’re kicked out, so we should stick to that.”

With SGI elections in the offing, students need to invest their votes in SGI candidates that demonstrate enthusiasm for their respective positions.

We need representatives that can put an end to apathy, both within SGI and throughout the student body.