Editorial: GSB justices act childishly by resigning


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Nine Government of the Student Body justices and the faculty adviser no longer seem to agree with the management of GSB. Early Thursday morning, the justices and adviser resigned their positions.

Editorial Board

In the early morning hours of April 24, the entire Judicial Branch of Iowa State’s Government of the Student Body, along with their faculty adviser, resigned. We have published their collective public resignation and recommend all concerned students read it. For such a short piece, it certainly says a lot. 

Here at Iowa State, we like to think of our GSB as a place where students can learn leadership, the basics of effective governance and a host of other skills they can carry with them once they leave the halls of Iowa State. It appears that at least nine students and one faculty member close to the institution feel this is not the case. In fact, it seems to be so far from the case that these individuals would rather resign their positions than continue to support GSB.

That is not to say that there are no good eggs among the basket. It was apparently only the actions of some few senators which prompted the mass resignation, but those few had an immense impact.

It is still very early in the situation, and more information will undoubtedly surface, but for now the fact remains that an entire branch of our student government is gone. Beyond that, on their way out the door, they called out the other branches as being “impotent” and “ineffectual,” referring to the legislative and executive branches, respectively.

The various justices, by virtue of making their significant concerns public, have raised a serious question. Now that we know of their views regarding GSB, we, as a student body, must ask ourselves what will be done in response.

We at the Daily think that what needs to be done is clear. Those in GSB who are furthering this carousel of childish behavior need to do one thing: grow up. 

It was obvious from the letter that there seems to be a lack of communication among the different branches of GSB. These are problems that are more than likely faced by governing student bodies of other universities and they are probably not resigning because of it.

While allusions are made in the resignation letter to a “grand pseudo-event” and the “obstruct[ion] of the judiciary,” nothing specific is referenced that would seem to suggest resignation as the only course of action for our judicial branch.

The bill that went under fire states that the Supreme Court of GSB wants funding for visits to law school professors, judges and courts around Iowa. This is clearly something that our former justices found to be very important, so much so that when it did not pass in the senate, they all chose to resign.

It is also apparent that the resigning justices do not believe the current GSB system is able to work. As their letter says, “as the Court, we tried desperately to fix these issues, but such attempts proved impossible in the existing system.” Wanting to fix a broken system of government is admirable, but it is not the job of a court.

The GSB Supreme Court was established to accomplish a number of goals, but the Court is not an extension of our legislative body. The GSB Senate, alongside the executive branch is the place where institutional changes should be introduced.

The nine former justices are no longer members of our Supreme Court, so they may very well become involved in an attempt to change our GSB. Such changes will require a very public discussion, however, and will need more involvement on all fronts than what we have seen thus far. 

Students have been called to action in the letter written by the former justices, and this is a perfect opportunity to speak out. Our GSB exists to govern and serve us, the students, so it is our involvement that is needed. In a time where GSB is falling apart, the rest of us need to stand strong and make our voices heard.