Our view: no kid gloves

First of all, congratulations to the newly elected directors and senators of the Undergraduate Student Government. You are about to embark on unfamiliar territory. It is no easy task to be part of any new organization, let alone government. You are brave to do so.

Please realize the responsibility you now have on your shoulders. Though there are more of you now, you still represent sizable amounts of the student body. Given the importance of your jobs, you must know the eyes of the university are on you. And so are ours.

We’re going to be tough on you. We have to be. As strange as it sounds, you need us to be tough. You work for the student body. So do we. Part of our job to keep the public informed is to watch what you do and report on it. Most students don’t directly observe you, so we do it for them.

We’re not out to get you. We’re just trying to make sure the students here know what is going on and that they will be treated fairly. We realize none of you are coming into this hoping to pull a fast one on the student body.

Our concern lies in the fact that, with the exception of Jonathan Bey, all the directors and senators are new to the student government. Many of these new directors and senators, including Bey, campaigned unopposed. On top of that, this is a new system. It would be difficult even for a group of returning student government leaders. The job will by no means be easy.

Being new, both in members and formation, cannot and will not be an acceptable excuse. Senators, you are responsible for the students in the college you represent. The smallest college on campus is the College of Technology. There are about 500 undergraduates enrolled in this college. While this may be easier than having a smaller government representing the entire undergraduate student body, it’s no less important to do the job well.

Another concern we have is with Bey, the new executive director. He held the position of senator of community affairs this past year. He focused on the Community Task Force, a way to improve the relationship between Kent residents and students living off campus. This is a great organization that would be beneficial to both the city and the university. Unfortunately, it never came to fruition.

He told the Stater last December that he offered the training, did the advertising and set up meetings for the task force. He ended up sitting by himself for 45 minutes waiting for people to show up. No one did.

Being a leader requires you to go beyond the normal steps to get the job done. You can’t just sit around and wait for other people to do the job for you. If the people didn’t come to Bey, we wonder, why he didn’t go out to the people? It seems like a simple enough solution to walk out the door and engage people in one-on-one conversation. As far as we know, there have been no new developments with the Community Task Force. To be perfectly honest, that is incredibly disappointing.

You are all, for the most part, new to the job. It won’t be easy. We won’t be easy either. We do, however, promise to be fair.

Good luck.

The above editorial is a consensus opinion of the Daily Kent Stater editorial board.