At Wednesday’s Student Government Association presidential debate, both tickets said that transparency and communication were important to the success of SGA.
Afterward, questions were raised about the credentials and claimed participation in SGA — both during meetings and in SGA events — of one of the tickets.
When The Jambar looked into these claims, we found that there was no way to verify them.
When a Jambar reporter asked where to find committee-meeting minutes that would verify these claims, they were told that these minutes were in the agendas for each body meeting.
However, the minutes for the committee meetings provided in the agendas listed only that members were present at the meeting, not who produced ideas or who contributed what. In some agendas, the minutes are not posted at all.
With a new administration coming in next fall, this is the time to carry through on campaign promises. Minutes, not just for full body meetings, but also for all functioning parts of SGA, need to be available to the public. Minutes should also be clear and as thorough as possible.
Both tickets mention that the majority of students do not have involvement with SGA. It’s difficult to be involved when you don’t know what’s going on.
When students can’t find out what SGA is doing, it creates distrust and the feeling that SGA does not have the student body’s best interest in mind.
SGA exists to advance student success and enhance the student experience at Youngstown State University.
Just like “real world” politics, the students at YSU have every right to know what their representatives are doing for them. Transparency — from the posting of meeting minutes to having open meetings — is crucial to that knowledge.
It’s hard to say whether transparency this year is better than years’ past. While the lines of communication between SGA and the students has been expanded, that doesn’t mean the same can be said for transparency. Even with better communication, there were still times when public record requests went unfilled and people were denied access to meetings. Since then, the issue of transparency has gotten better, but it can go further.
There is still work to be done by next year’s administration, whomever it may be.
More transparency is never bad. More thorough minutes need to be posted. Committee and full body meetings need to be advertised more. Students can’t interact and be involved if they don’t know where to look or where to go.
Whoever wins the upcoming election: This is the chance to change things and advance SGA. This is the chance to keep your promises.