The restorative properties of summer break deserve a medal. After a tumultuous spring semester, the new leadership just coming into power on the Student Executive Council (SEC) seems ready to move past the perceived wrongs of last year’s SEC. Dominated by extreme personalities, previous SEC boards allowed themselves to be bogged down in a game of ‘that’s mine, this is yours,’ resulting in multiple controversies that were ultimately counterproductive to SEC’s intended purpose on campus. Instead of promoting interaction, cohesion, and dynamic co-programming between its member organizations, there was discord, mistrust, and – in some cases – unfortunate instances of outright dislike and pettiness between the groups.
Current SEC representatives seem unwilling to allow themselves to make the mistakes of their predecessors and for that, we commend them. However, we also wish to express our concern with SEC’s overall track record regarding the rules and regulations of SEC meetings. It is alarming that previous SEC boards chose to suspend Robert’s Rules of Order simply to create a more relaxed atmosphere. Indeed, it seems like an organization charged with distributing more than half a million dollars of students’ own tuition money should be expected to operate under particularly stringent rules and regulations. Additionally, by suspending parliamentary procedure, the minority’s ability to voice its opinion and ideas is also compromised, thus compromising the students’ voice. We sincerely hope that this year’s SEC will choose to operate according to the rules in an effort to remain as impartial and responsible as they are aiming to be.
This fall, SEC is beginning the year by focusing on the issue of Greek Life funding, which was reduced by 20 percent by last year’s SEC board amongst great controversy. It seems a campus-wide referendum is pending, unless the new SEC board can settle the conflict internally. At the risk of drawing out this fight any longer and potentially causing additional rifts between student groups, we hope that SEC can make an attempt to settle the problem in their meetings instead of drawing the entire campus into the fight. Although this seems extremely unlikely, we are also a little more hopeful given that this year’s leadership is more committed to simply solving the issue as amicably as possible. While a campus-wide open forum to discuss the issue and subsequent campus-wide vote seem inevitable, we anticipate that it won’t devolve into the biased mud-slinging that surrounded last January’s student salaries referendum. Hopefully, this year’s crop of student leaders will better appreciate the responsibility the student body trusts them with and will be able to move forward from attacking each other’s SAF allocation to something more productive for the Case Western Reserve University campus as a whole. With the new Tink Veale University Center announced, as well as the Maltz Center for Performing Arts at the Temple-Tifereth, both students and student leaders have two potentially incredibly legacies to focus on and unite around as we begin the 2010 – 2011 academic year.