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SG’s latest vote does not serve the greater good

For the fourth – but perhaps not final – time, the Student Government senate voted Tuesday on the allocation of $30,000 toward a concert to be held during Greek Week – this time in favor of it.

Quite frankly, things have gone from ridiculous to contemptible. Stay focused; this gets absurd.

On Jan. 24, the senate recorded three vote totals on the issue: initially to vote for or against the measure and twice afterward due to confusion about the veracity of the initial vote. The first vote tally had the senate ruling against the measure, but due to confusion over whether an improper number of votes was cast, two vote verifications were required. The first verification approved the allotment, but the second ruled against it, and it seemed as though the matter was settled.

On Jan. 26, senate President Pro Tempore Jeremiah Pederson announced he intended to bring the issue before the senate once more, citing a lack of information about the issue.What he should have cited was a lack of senators in favor of the issue.

During the Jan. 24 session in which the original three rounds of votes were cast on the issue, 36 senators cast votes. During the Tuesday hearing and the ensuing re-vote, 43 senators cast votes. The senate barely achieved the two-thirds majority required to re-hear the issue (and only after senate President Frank Harrison changed his vote to a yea and an absentee ballot in favor of the measure was discovered), and as stated above, the measure eventually passed. This brings the total number of vote counts on the concert allocation to two in favor and two against.

So why not vote again, and once more after that? In fact, why ever stop voting on the issue?

That may not be a very constructive criticism, so here’s one instead: Why even think of approving such a large expenditure that’s extremely divisive not just among the senate, but the student body?

By its very nature the senate will rarely be in complete concord, but surely there is a better use for $30,000 of Activity & Service fees than a concert with scads of controversy on every side of it.

From accusations of corruption at the highest levels of SG to concerns over whether the issue was entwined with Greek interests on campus, the idea of a concert free to all students to be held in the Greek Village was – and continues to be – awash in bickering and misrepresentation. But for all the bickering, the most important question is one that has undoubtedly been asked but continues to be ignored: Is it a good use of student fees?

The bottom line is that the senate as a whole does not exist to approve ideas that a handful of bureaucrats are smitten with. It exists to serve the student body, and in this instance – or perhaps these four instances – it has failed miserably.