A good idea with one big flaw


Credit: Adam Griffiths

There’s only one issue on the ballot, but it’s a weighted one. This referendum will expand and reorganize Undergraduate Student Senate – from the nine elected senators of USS to 25 elected and appointed senators composing a new Undergraduate Student Government.

The nine existing elected positions would comprise an executive cabinet, and 10 more elected positions would represent each academic department. In addition, six senators would be appointed to represent interests ranging from diversity, on- and off-campus students, international students and non-traditional students.

This part of the referendum would allow USS to better represent students. With a student body of more than 30,000, increasing and diversifying its official student voice would definitely be a plus.

However, that’s not all this referendum would do. It would also allow USS to absorb the All Campus Programming Board, the board currently responsible for most large events on campus.

Right now, ACPB is independent and can choose its own programming, as well as its own leader.

Under this referendum, USS would create a committee for programming, which would include ACPB, to be run by a director of programming. This referendum would require ACPB to spend 80 percent of its budget on concerts (bye Bob Saget), and all its events would have to be directly approved by USS.

We know USS wants to see bigger and better programming on campus, but taking away the rights of one of the most influential student organizations on campus is not the way to do it. USS already controls the Allocations Committee, which doles out the dollars for all events sponsored by on-campus groups. There’s no reason to further increase this monopoly on money.

Further, ACPB’s president is currently required to have served for at least a year as a leader of a student organization and is chosen by a panel of students who know programming.

The new system would let anyone run for the position, regardless of experience, and be voted in through a popular election. We’re all about democracy, but in this case, the panel that currently chooses ACPB’s president – including representatives from the non-returning ACPB executive board, Black United Students and Kent Interhall Council – might be more informed than the less than 10 percent of students who sign onto Web for Students and vote in most USS elections. Sad but true.

While we would support increased student representation on USS, the part of this referendum dealing with ACPB is a no-go. We give the resolution a thumbs down.

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