Not the strongest start

Today was the start of a brand new student government.

The newly sworn in directors and senators of the Undergraduate Student Government met yesterday for their first meeting. On its surface, the meeting seemed to go as any other. They voted on new representatives for the Allocation Committee. They also made a nice gesture to Donna Carlton, their adviser, by naming a day after her. All in all, the USG doesn’t seem that much different from its predecessor.

It appears to be a smooth enough transition so far. It’s good to know the directors and senators are at least able to handle the basic work from last year’s senate. That’s not to say we think they are incompetent. The makeup of the new government is almost entirely new members. Executive Director Jonathan Bey is the only one returning from the previous government.

But the basics shouldn’t be all they do, nor is it all they intend to do. However, based on the answers they gave to the student politics reporter for yesterday’s story, we don’t know what they are going to do because they don’t either.

Yes, they’re new. Yes, the government is new. But does that mean the student body should have lowered expectations for the students who chose to run for student government and won? We don’t think so.

No one is saying it’s easy to make this transition. Semester-to-semester and year-to-year changes for student organizations can be tricky enough even when the organization isn’t changing. The senators and directors do deserve credit for being brave enough to be part of the brand new USG.

The student needs more than bravery, though. Granted, the student politicians interviewed do not necessarily reflect the entire organization, but it’s still disappointing to read that there are some who have no idea what they are going to do.

One month has passed since the elections. That means the students who ran had to have some idea in mind of what they wanted to do with the position while they campaigned. At least, that’s what we hope. It seems strange the students who wanted the jobs don’t know what to do now that they’re elected.

They’ve had at least a month. They didn’t necessarily have to have their entire year planned out. Anything, even just a few project ideas or meetings with students and administrators under the belt, would be more reassuring than “I don’t know.”

Some have started already, and we thank you. You’re doing your job. But too many haven’t (In case you’re curious, even one is too many). Because USG is so new, it’s not a good idea to fall behind. The job of representing students to their colleges, and vice versa, is not one to be taken lightly. You must earn the respect and trust of the students you represent.

That being said, USG has some difficult but potentially rewarding work ahead. Good luck to all of you senators and directors. We look forward to covering you.

The above editorial is the consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board, whose members are listed to the left.