Over the past week, Student Government has been engaged in pointless fighting, taking time and manpower away from more important issues.
Bill 53, which the SG senate passed Oct. 26, is at the core of a debate that has pitted the student body president against the senate in a fight for power.
The bill created a permanent senate committee called the Special Projects Committee that will hear pitches for new projects, a duty that originally belonged to the executive branch.
SG Sen. James Culp, who authored Bill 53, argued that the executive branch cannot handle the workload of reviewing project ideas, and senate President Frank Harrison said senators with ideas needed a “structure to guide them.”
Predictably, student body President Maxon Victor expressed his disapproval, calling the bill “a destruction of checks and balances,” because the Senate could now pass and fund any projects it wanted to, from beginning to end, without interference or approval from the executive or judicial branches.
When SG attempted to reach a compromise on Bill 53, it only created more confusion and bureaucracy – the last thing a governing body needs.
Bill 58, presented to the Rules Committee on Tuesday, would only complicate an already confusing issue and doesn’t resolve the problems Bill 53 created.
If Bill 58 passes, project proposals would have to go through the Special Projects Committee, the student body president and the Agency Review Board before it even reaches the senate. The time and energy lost by trudging a proposal through all this bureaucracy would be inefficient, and little would be accomplished.
If that’s not enough, Bill 58 would allow the student body president to block a proposal he simply does not like, essentially the same power the senate has with Bill 53.
Victor, like all SG members, has a limited amount of time to leave his mark. If he wants to get things done, he should discourage the practice of presenting bills to revise bills.
In the future, SG should focus more on things that affect students, not itself. Most troubling is that these two bills and the fighting they’ve caused are not even necessary. Before Bill 53, senators could pitch project proposals to the student body president or the Senate Executive Committee and receive guidance.
Forming a committee to hear project proposals seems to be pointless. Bill 53 was intended to make the approval of projects more efficient. The opposite has happened. As a result, the SG should strongly consider scrapping the Special Projects Committee.