Bridging the gap between students and campus government

As a student of the body at Maryville College, I feel that our student body of the Student Government Association has not done much in terms of resolving the issues that are complained about daily.

Yes, I realize that the food in Pearsons Hall has undergone change to possibly benefit the quality, and Anderson has finally been renovated so that the stairs do not collapse underneath everyone rushing to their classes.

I also realize that SGA does a lot in terms of organizing fun and informative events on campus. But there are other huge issues that are talked about every year and yet nothing is done about it. Maybe no one is voicing their concern.

Well, here I am to voice what has been upsetting me.

I have been told to go to the SGA meetings to possibly throw out my ideas. While I am aware of that fact, I find it as useful as being told to talk to my local congressman about a problem being faced in town. Truth be told, I had no idea that anyone outside of SGA could go to an SGA meeting. That is already one problem that needs solving: we need to be more informed about the goings on in SGA, and not in a subtle way.

The biggest issue that I believe needs to be changed and handled as soon as possible, and by that I mean before I graduate in 2016, is the housing predicament. Every year, we complain about the lottery, and point based housing selection, and every year it stays the same.

So, either no one knows about this struggle, or no one who has actually joined SGA has tried to do anything about it. Even though this needs to be fixed and changed to a web-based housing selection, like the one that is done for freshman year and makes everything easier, it isn’t the real issue I am getting at.

By housing issue, I really mean that there is almost no space.

This year, there was an increase in freshmen that were accepted and, apparently, every room was filled up to the point that some people had to triple up rather than double up in rooms. Of course, there will be students who drop out to give us that space back, but there is also something else that could be done to solve this: the upstairs rooms in Pearsons need to be opened up for residence use. Right now, the rooms are unlivable, but if the yearly class sizes of MC are going to keep increasing then funds need to be budgeted towards renovation.

I know through learning about the history of MC that those upstairs rooms used to be open, but for some reason they have fallen into disrepair. If they were opened, that would make crowded housing less likely to be an issue on campus.

And, if there is a problem with this, such as noises upstairs disturbing people down below who are trying to eat, I have a solution for that, as well. Perhaps their use could be limited to seniors or students with certain scholarships; the price can even be raised to show that they are special rooms not for the faint of heart.

Maybe even stricter quiet time rules. One way or another, I believe it would benefit residence life if more rooms like these were open to be filled.

Another issue I have run into is the lack of bike security. There are no safe places to put bikes in residence halls except for outside, or, in Carnegie’s case, the basement. This allows for any drunken and disorderly students to take advantage of any vulnerable bike. Mine was pushed down, kicked around, and even stolen because of this issue.

Nothing has been done about it, not even when I went to security to send in a claim. There seems to be a glitch in the matrix, or just a huge lack of communication.

So, that is what I am really getting at. There is this large lack of communication between those in the power to do something about arising issues and those who have to deal with these unresolved problems. The big issues that need to be handled seem to be pushed aside on the pretense that they will get fixed eventually, and the small, fun campus events get the entire spotlight. It is these tiny, daily grievances that turn into huge inconveniences and need the most attention.

This is me voicing my concern and opinions for SGA. I can only hope that, like in the real world, media pressure will finally do the trick. Perhaps once SGA comes out of hiding I might be able to go to them directly.

One thought on “Bridging the gap between students and campus government

  • April 25, 2014 at 11:10 am
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    Sam, when I worked in NYC near Columbia and Barnard I was stopped on the street one day by a couple looking for living quarters for their daughter who was to attend Columbia Univ. in the Fall. Housing was so short in supply there that parents had to go “begging” to the public to find housing.

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