If you have an issue or problem with the way a governing body is working or passing policies, you voice yourself and make the change you wish to see in that body. However, politics are very tricky when you get down to it, so how do you voice your opinion? Voting.
Politics are pretty universal and our university is no exception. We have a president, Dr. Brian Noland, and his “cabinet” if you will, also known as the Board of Trustees. Our president and Board of Trustees govern to change and better ETSU. To diversify themselves and stay connected to promote a better understanding with the student body, there is a student representative through the Student Government Association who speaks on behalf of the ETSU student body.
While it is a privilege to be voiced and represented in such a way to the president and Board of Trustees by a fellow student, it does have its faults. Currently, the other board members are allowed to vote on issues and policies that arise, while our student body representative only speaks at meetings and gives input to the Board of Trustees. The issue that presents itself is that our representative is not allowed to vote on behalf of the student body in which they represent.
If voicing yourself and advocating for change, when change is necessary, through voting is the American way for a diplomatic progression, then how is our representative expected to vote and advocate for change when they are not given the right to vote? You are not alone in noticing the weird kink in the current relationship between the SGA and the Board of Trustees and how they work together, and thankfully the student body is being given the choice to have their representative heard through voting.
A petition advocating for change is circulating and looking for your signature. It can be found in the SGA offices on the first floor of the D.P. Culp University Center. The petition will allow our representative to vote on our behalf which will not only further the potential changes students wish to see, but also allow for the elimination of groupthink among the board and make each vote passed with an ETSU student body representative from SGA that much more solid moving forward as ETSU continues to grow.