Letter to the Editor: SGA should be ashamed


Procedures laid out in the bylaws of the Student Government Association should be followed at all times. Procedures exist to protect the ability of any organization to operate. They show that the rules were followed, and as long as the rules are followed all operations are legitimate. Procedures provide transparency. When you fail to follow procedures, people tend to suspect the worst. This most often leads to negative press to be written about you, student unrest and alumni displeasure. Trust me. I was part of a SGA that had a little negative press every now and again. I’ve also been behind more than one organized student protest at Loyola. And since I’ve graduated that makes me an alumna.

I’ll get to the lack of thought behind the proposed constitutional changes in a moment, but let me start by briefly commenting on the acts of the current executive board: Congratulations on perpetuating the belief that SGA is an entirely self-serving, backdoor-dealing, power-hungry organization. No class before you has done quite as much to make sure these labels hold fast. Keep the tradition alive!

First of all, cutting out a good chunk of the elected seats from the SGA presents a representation problem. I’ll start by agreeing that freshman senators don’t stick around. Most of them don’t. It’s a sad fact, but it remains just that. A fact. However, this doesn’t mean that they should go unrepresented. You’re forgetting the fact that they are the largest share of the student body (if my recollection of our retention rate is still correct).

As for college presidents, I can say that my needs as a student in the College of Business were drastically different than a student in the College of Music and Fine Arts. On that note, the needs of a music performance major are different from the needs of a visual arts, theatre, music education or music therapy major. This can be likened to the needs of a Texan being different from the needs of a Louisianan. And the needs of New Orleans being different from that of Baton Rouge. I’m sure there are people out there advocating that our federal government would be more efficient if we cut the legislative branch down to a fraction of its size. Who’s with them on that one?

It’s also dangerous to put all the power in the hands of few. Few that are appointed rather than elected. For those of you who are unaware, the president hand- picks who will fill the positions of the executive board and the position of chief justice. Not to allege any more impropriety against the current SGA, but more than one appointed member was fired during my time at Loyola for abusing the power of their position. Students are young. People make mistakes. But it is probably not the best idea to isolate power into such a small group with such great responsibilities.

During my four years at Loyola, and nearly three years on SGA as a College of Business senator and a senator-at-large, it was the personal mission of the leadership to be as transparent as possible. Meetings were moved to executive session properly. Senators were allowed to speak their minds on all issues without the threat of being removed from office. Most of all, we all believed that the students cared and noticed all of the things that the SGA did. No matter how big or how small the actions were.

Shame on you SGA. Shame on you for thinking students don’t care how you operate. They’ve proven that they do. To the students that voted, spoke up and spread the word: Congratulations on your victory. I’m proud to be a part of your Pack.


Ana Ochoa, Loyola alumna