EDITORIAL:Sarcastic senators hurt GSB’s image

Editorial Board

The eternal curse facing student organizations is the reputation that, regardless of how professionally they may function, they are still merely a handful of students who lack the maturity to truly be professional. Student newspapers, student activists and student government — the focus is often “student.”

The challenge posed to these organizations and individuals, then, should be to overcome the criticism and reputation of being hotheaded, irresponsible and immature, by acting as true professionals who happen to be students. True student leaders on this campus achieve this goal with apparent ease.

But — due largely to some students’ desire to appear ever the wisecrackers — the campus is currently witnessing an instance in which a dose of maturity and hindsight could have done wonders.

This week, the Government of the Student Body will vote on a bill that would recommend to administrators that there be more strict regulations on the verbal communication skills of teaching assistants. While there are reading and writing regulations, the bill indicates there is a greater need for teaching assistants to learn how to speak articulately to their students.

Simple enough, and a valid argument. The bill poses to do nothing overwhelming or shocking; it would just send a recommendation, from GSB, to administrators.

It’s the semantics involved here that push the reputation of GSB back a few notches: The bill comes with the wonderfully cute title, aimed undoubtedly at foreign TAs for whom English is not the native tongue: “In English Please.” Note the italics. Note the whimsy.

Note the foolishness in the diction that pushes back the reputation of an otherwise responsible and usually efficient governmental body. Our GSB is not an older version of a high school student council. It functions well, hears concerns from its constituents on a weekly basis, generally runs efficient and accurate elections and pushes through bills that generally serve the students.

There are GSB senators who do their jobs well, seeking only to gather the input of affected parties before pushing bills to the senate floor for a vote. There are GSB officials who take their positions quite seriously, often serving the thankless hours needed to keep things running smoothly.

President T.J. Schneider has posited nothing outlandish for his time in office. He never swore there would be no tuition increases, knowing that stopping that ball would require more than what one student could do with one year in office. He has urged the senators to act responsibly and has led by example.

Moves such as “In English Please,” however, damage the reputation of GSB. To all whose names appear on this bill — why the sarcasm? Why the need to be cute?

It’s tasteless, lacks tact and certainly doesn’t say anything for the credibility of our student government.

Editorial Board: Cavan Reagan, Amber Billings, Ayrel Clark, Charlie Weaver, Rachel Faber Machacha.