Op-ed: Smith-Maser – The Outsiders in the Race
By Justin Smith, Class of 2019
In the three years that SGA has existed, there has been a common trend with those who run for student body President and Vice President. More often than not, the candidates for the SGA Executive have served in either the SGA Senate or some other student government position. It’s rare that students who have not previously participated in SGA run for the offices of President and Vice President. In fact, in last year’s SGA debate, current VP Jon Paul Weiss was asked why he believed he was qualified to serve in the position he later went on to win, considering he had never served in SGA before. I couldn’t help but wonder, is there any qualification to represent the student body other than being a student? In short, I don’t think there is. Moreover, I think it’s actually necessary to have an outside perspective in these positions every once in a while.
Abby Maser and I are running for SGA not because we want the political experience, but because we would like to see student government become more student-driven. We have two main goals we would like to focus on if we are elected: to make student life more engaging and to empower all student organizations. When students are more engaged on campus, our community becomes noticeably stronger. One way to improve the student life at Catholic University is to increase the amount of campus events. Not every event has to be on the same level as Mistletoe Ball, Founder’s Day Ball, or Relay for Life—although having more events like those would definitely be fun. Our second goal is to make sure that all student leaders have the resources they need to effectively run their student organizations. We realize that not every student leader is going to have experience in management, marketing, or event planning. SGA can play an instrumental role in making sure that these student leaders can still be successful. We will do this by creating a task force that helps put OCA’s Student Organization Resource Center (SORC) into practice by our campus student leaders.
The fact of the matter is that SGA is not a student-run Board of Trustees. The real power of SGA is quite limited. We’re not going to pretend like the offices we are running for put us above any other student. However, it does offer us the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the student body to the university administration. We don’t take this lightly, but we also don’t take ourselves too seriously. Hopefully, you will be as excited as we are about the future of SGA and vote for us on Wednesday, April 11th in the Pryzbyla or on the Nest from 9 AM-9 PM.