Message to Senate: Drop the pettiness

Originally published November 19, 2010

We’d like to commend Senate’s co-ed living resolution.

Though the administration hasn’t yet decided whether to allow men and women to live together in the St. James Apartment Complex, it’s about time a conversation was being had about it.

That is, however, the only thing we’re going to commend Senate for this semester.

In September, we wrote in this space that we had high expectations for Bradley’s student government this semester.

But here we are, practically to Thanksgiving break, and none of those expectations have been met.

The body that’s supposed to fight for students’ rights has spent far too much of the semester fighting internally, mostly about things the typical student could care less about, like dress code for Senate meetings.

We understand that most Senate administrations have difficulty kicking things off at the start of the year. But making it to mid-November with only two resolutions voted through – one just this past Monday – is unacceptable.

This isn’t to say there isn’t a lot of talk coming from the group’s office in Sisson Hall, because there is. They have ideas. They have goals. They have things they want to accomplish – they just aren’t doing anything.

This isn’t to say there aren’t individual members looking to do some good, but they seem to be running up against brick walls with every step they take.

But we are saying that far too little has gotten done.

At best, this is an organizational problem, meaning people just don’t understand how things work so they aren’t doing much.

At worst, it’s a problem with leadership.

And from what we can tell, it’s more the latter than the former, and that’s a problem.

We wrote here a few months ago that we were placing the responsibility to rebuild bridges on Student Body President Nick Swiatkowski.

It’s clear, however, that hasn’t happened, and it’s hindering progress.

If the student body officers and the rest of the executive committee can’t get along, any potential progress is going to come grinding to a halt.

So here’s our message to Swiatkowski, because the year is still salvageable, if he starts working toward the right goals right now.

The student body president is the face of Senate but not the boss of Senate. Micro-managing and throwing orders around will not make people want to get things done. It will make people – effective people – want to quit.

The student body president should know what’s going on in Senate, but the president does not need to be involved in everything in Senate.

The student body president must be the one to take the high road to make sure things are getting done. We’re not saying everyone has to get along, but we are saying everyone has to be able to work together to get things accomplished for the student body.

So before the end of this semester, we’d like to see a sit down with the leaders of Senate. We’d like them to air their issues amongst themselves, acknowledge them and start over.

This will take some leadership from Nick, but it will take cooperation from the rest of the executive committee.

So get to it, ladies and gentlemen.

Because we’re still watching, and we’re sorely disappointed.