A wasted opportunity

Editorial Board

They had the opportunity to take a stand against the administration.

They had the opportunity to make a statement about the role of students on this campus.

They had the opportunity to do something constructive about a serious problem during a campus tradition.

But they didn’t.

The Government of the Student Body Wednesday night voted to take the Veishea pledge, after a lengthy question-and-answer session with ISU President Martin Jischke. As expected, Jischke reiterated that Veishea must be alcohol-free, or Veishea as ISU students know it is over.

The real problem is students have no idea what Veishea is now or what it should be. The event that prides itself on being the oldest student-run celebration hasn’t been student-run for the past two years. It is Jischke-run, and Veishea, in effect, has become a laughingstock.

The resolution, which passed by a vote of 27-9, says that GSB believes students should have a significant say in what happens to what is supposed to be our celebration.

But that resolution isn’t close to what it could have been.

Members of the senate tried several times Wednesday night to add amendments to the resolution retracting GSB’s affirmation of the Veishea pledge — at least until ISU students know more about what is expected from them during the celebration.

But for whatever reason — fatigue, mid-terms, the presence of administrators and Veishea committee members — the senators backed down.

GSB didn’t have to decide last night whether Veishea would go on next spring. The pledge did not need to be voted on last night, no matter what Veishea committee members said.

Veishea is a huge issue, and if last night’s resolution didn’t reflect what students want, it shouldn’t have been voted on at all.

The Veishea pledge could have waited until senators were sure they wanted to take it. But instead, the student body is left with a resolution that expresses frustration with administrators but still bows to their demands.

The dialogue during the meeting between Jischke and the students was great — it should happen more often.

But productive dialogue is not the only thing GSB should be good for.

Students are not happy with the way Veishea is now. That much was obvious from the three-hour debate among students and with Jischke during the meeting.

So, why approve the pledge when they didn’t have to?

GSB senators should be commended for voicing their discontent with Jischke through their resolution, as opposed to during the last two years when the Veishea pledge has sailed through the senate.

But when the senate came so close to doing something so much better for students, it’s hard not to be disappointed.

The senators had the chance to do something instead of just saying something.

But they wouldn’t take that chance.