Letter: Deena Kennell on Nov 20. editorial

Dear Editor:

I am writing in response to various and assorted criticisms aired by the paper regarding the Chadron State College Student Senate, specifically the most recent editorial, (It’s time to declaw student gov. fat-cats, Nov. 20.)

In it the readers are instructed how to go about removing representatives and those in office from their positions and goes on further to explain how ludicrous it is to have to go to that much work to make a change in the student governing body.

Let me be very, very clear that I am not suggesting that some actions aren’t deserving of public scrutiny, and that I am aware that part of the job of taking a public office is that you open yourself up for criticism because you can’t possibly make everyone happy.

What I take offense by is the suggestion that the existing process for implementing a change is just simply too onerous to deserve the effort it might take to accomplish that change.  The writer finds it much easier to make a public mockery of the existing democratic process but gives no suggestion for what might actually be an effective strategy for change.

It is easier to make anonymous criticisms than to put oneself in the public eye for others to criticize. Of that there is no doubt.

What is of doubt, however, is that there are really very many people on this campus who truly give a care about a positive action change.   

Did you know that the most recent Student Senate officer election was the first in years in which more than one candidate ran for each office.   Are you aware that only two of the six residence halls on campus have even bothered to have a representative in Senate?  Are you aware of how the percentage of the Student Activity Fees that are going to support this leadership conference compares to the percentage that goes to Free Movie Night?

I challenge those of you who are so very disgruntled with your “wasteful, self-aggrandizing” Senate to actually join Senate and advance change by proposing changes to by-laws, or really go out on a limb and run for an office. I would caution you, though, that you might be setting yourself up for the public flogging that is so much easier to dish out through anonymity than it might be to take.

Make a difference.  DO something.  Remember that complaining about something is not the same as doing something.

Deena Kennell
Student Senate Adviser

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1 Response

  1. Stuart Richards says:

    The comparison between this and other ostensibly democratic systems is that the electorate is, by definition, all incredibly busy. Only a fraction of students have the time to run for office. I myself would love to run for office and show these punks how it’s done, but I’ve got a thesis and a job. It’s not cost-effective for me, and I suspect for most students, to combat the corruption in Student Senate beyond voicing our complaints in the public square.

    Furthermore, I’m pretty sure that this isn’t news to anyone, and your advisees in Student Senate are counting on false equivalencies like this to justify their unjustifiable actions.

    One last thing. If their actions are so defensible, why are they hiding behind you to defend them in public?

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