End this farce
For those devoted Wildcat readers who remember the final staff editorial last May, the headline above may seem familiar.
That's because it's identical to the one in May that ran above an commentary lambasting former Associated Students President Gilbert Davidson and the 1997-1998 student government for "failing to live up to its obligation to represent students."
Now, the headline is the same, but the message is only similar.
Until now, we've been largely silent in this space - partially to allow time to situate ourselves, but also to allow other campus voices and institutions to begin their work and begin to set precedents themselves.
And those precedents have thus far left much to be desired - especially those set by this year's ASUA Senate.
The $20,000 blunder
Although far more diverse than last year's crowd, the varying viewpoints that ought to be embodied in a student legislature appear to have been left downstairs when senator-elects first entered ASUA's second-story offices. Some had pet projects on their personal agendas, others more grandiose visions - but no one was thinking about spending $20,000 for an evening with Johnnie Cochran of O.J. Simpson fame.
Nor should they have been.
Nor should they now.
But they did and the Senate authorized the expenditure last week.
To say this is a waste would be an understatement, as there are far bigger quandaries to addressed. Like child care for student parents. Like more scholarships for underprivileged students. The laundry list goes on.
Far too often it appears that the second-floor folks forget that the top priorities of most of the 35-odd thousand UA students do not include the next sorority social or the choice among Mazatlan, Palm Springs or South Padre Island for spring break. Thus, for an organization that bills itself as the students' official representative to even consider blowing 20 grand for a washed-up talking head like Cochran makes one wonder if the senators' summer retreat includes frontal lobotomies.
Far be it from us to discourage free speech and the expression of opinions.
That would be hypocritical and counterproductive as the First Amendment is the stalwart column on which all American newspapers lean.
However, events at Wednesday's Senate meeting beg the question of venue.
Although it is laudable for student leaders to be concerned with issues like homophobia, violence and the plight of the physically disabled, to summarily give the Senate floor to Wildcat complainants may not be a good trend to begin.
The student activist for the deaf and blind who expressed outrage at senators Wednesday clearly is entitled to his viewpoint, but could not that opinion be effectively expressed as a Wildcat guest commentary or letter that automatically reaches at least 20,000 readers?
As the year continues to roll, one must remember that all involved in ASUA are answerable to the 35-odd thousand students that populate this campus.
You can do much good in your positions. You can also do little or nothing.
Please choose the former and distance yourselves from last year's farce before it becomes the status quo again.