When Leslie Knope from the TV show Parks and Recreation entertains visiting dignitaries from Venezuela, she treats them to a vision of America’s pride and joy: freedom of speech and participation in democracy.

While the residents of Pawnee, Indiana take this treasured freedom to the extreme, here at CUA we aren’t even given the chance.

Monday night SGA put together an event of real worth. A panel was put together of administrators who presented in a clear form, what exactly happened the first night we were put in a shelter-in-place. It was great. But after the presentations were over SGA stepped in to ask some questions only allowing non-SGA students to speak their mind by submitting questions in written form. It was a weird and opaque follow-up to the administration’s willing cooperation to enlighten students. Why does SGA feel the need to censor students at a time when they ought to be heard most?

They say that they are acting as representatives of the students, but we are not the United States with a population of millions. We are a small University with a small student population and it really isn’t too much to ask that we be allowed to vocally speak our concerns directly to the administration.

During a panel such as this SGA should work as our representatives by providing a space in which the student body can speak to the administration which they see precious little of. And no, the claim that they need to censor questions for relevant topics is quite daft. The people that show up to these sorts of events are those who care enough to come and spend their valuable and limited time participating in making this university a better place for students.

So SGA, in the words of Leslie Knope, “in a true democracy we believe that the input of our citizens is extremely valuable.”

Yes SGA, even if people are there to spout less informed questions, we believe in freedom of speech.

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