COLUMN:GSB – serving itself better

Tim Paluch

Now I know it’s not good to generalize. And it’s definitely not very professional to lump entire groups of people together solely because of a few bad apples. Fair and balanced analysis – good. Stereotyping – bad. But today, today I don’t give a damn.

So here it is, the unfair statement everybody’s been thinking but doesn’t have the column space to say – GSB, in its current “futile-against-the-powers-that-be-but-we’re-still-gonna-pass-this-resolution-saying-how-really-really-mad-we-are-about-it” form, is utterly useless. They’re evil. Pure, gluttonous evil.

I should first say that I have nothing against GSB personally. I’m sure my off-campus or LAS senator would clean my house and cook me dinner if I asked. But let’s be honest – other than allocating student fees to student groups and organizations, they’re about as necessary on this campus as the $400,000 heated Porta-Pottie they voted to build at the commuter lot. And that was never clearer than this year.

‘Twas a tough semester for us students. The debilitating budget cuts and lack of funds in Iowa caused tuition costs to take a turn for the worse. It’s going up, way up. In fact, next year’s tuition will rise 18.5 percent.

Which means if it wasn’t for GSB out there fighting to keep tuition affordable for their constituents, it would be even higher, possibly as high as – let’s see, subtract five . carry the one . 18.5 percent. Yes, despite stomping their feet and pledging to not stand for any increase over 9.9 percent, and then stomping their feet even harder pledging even louder to not stand for any tuition increase over 13 percent, surprise – it was raised 18.5 percent, exactly the amount proposed. Student concerns mattered little at crunch time, as always.

I can hear the cries of criticism already. “You don’t understand how we work. You’ve never even been to a meeting.” Not true. I have, in fact, been to several GSB meetings. (“The perfect cure for insomnia,” I tell people). It’s everyone else that needs to be educated about our student government. So as a service to the ISU community, I’ve compiled a list of the most commonly asked questions about GSB.

If I plan to run for GSB, do I need to (a) know anything about politics, (b) care at all about politics, or (c) have people skills?

No, no and no. In fact, all three are highly frowned upon.

When I decide to run, what do I need in order to be a good candidate?

A pulse. A campaign slogan is also a good idea. I suggest “we will better serve the students.” Seems to have done a good job in the past. It’s catchy, it sounds professional, and it eliminates all accountability when things go bad and you’re left writing angry letters to the legislature.

Do I need to be good at debating?

Definitely. If you’re a GSB senator, for example, you must be able to hold your own when confronted with legal vernacular like this recent debate on the senate floor:









“ha! – you said nu-uh.”

If I was confronted with a situation in which my personal politics may play a role in a vote to appoint an extremely qualified candidate to a position, election commissioner for example, that would benefit my constituents to the fullest, should I vote to appoint said candidate, or vote no and let my own selfish motives win out over ethics and responsibility?

As an elected official, it is abhorrent to think that one would vote based on personal opinions and childish grudges. You should vote yes to appoint the qualified candidate, seeing as it would benefit . Oh hell, who are we kidding? This is freakin’ GSB, Iowa State’s glorified student council, and you’re an animal science major for God’s sake, not an actual politician. Vote the guy down.

What does GSB actually do, and why is it important on campus?

That’s an easy one. If not for GSB, who would spend two hours in a heated debate over Tasers that resulted in a paper-thin 30-to-2 vote? And if we lost our dedicated GSB, who would argue for hours over that poignant issue all students ponder regarding the GSB Constitution – “comma or semicolon?” Give them their props; narcissistic faux-intellectuals who get off on hearing themselves talk is what keeps this campus going.

I’m not trying to make GSB look bad. And even if I was, which, I can’t stress enough I’m definitely not doing, I couldn’t do it better than they do themselves.

So next time you see your GSB senators, stop them and let them know you appreciate their hard work, hard work that pays great dividends from the Memorial Union Campanile Room all the way to the hallway immediately outside the Memorial Union Campanile Room.

Tim Paluch is a junior in journalism and mass communication from Orland Park, Ill. He is opinion editor of the Daily.