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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » What Sucks About Your Student Government? (Props to Dzuunmod)

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Author Topic: What Sucks About Your Student Government? (Props to Dzuunmod)
Gumdrop Girl
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Rather than turn my other thread into a rant about how much I hate the student government, I'll just go off about it here.

At UC Berkeley, we have the ASUC (pronounced "a-suck"), the Associated Students of the University of California. Considering that there's 8 other schools in the system, I think the name is very exclusionary, but i digress.

The ASUC is an independent body, independent from the UC Regents who really run the show. It is independent of our newspaper, the Daily Cal. Its purpose is to gather money from the student (our student fees) and distribute it to student groups. They write bills and plan student activities.

There are parties in the ASUC, and they're both pretty stupid parties. At election time, they try to get everyone else disqualified from running. They take credit for crap they didn't do (Neither APPLE not Cal-SERVE built my computer lab, it was me and the geeks! But I digress again). These parties do little to contribute to student affairs, but they sure do a good job of antagonizing each other.

APPLE are like American democrats, or British new labour. Cal-SERVE are socialist. BAMN are pretty much Marxist, but they make up a small, yet annoying, number.

Last year, Cal-SERVE got an APPLE senator kicked out of office. Then APPLE kicked out a Cal-SERVE senator. Then Cal-SERVE threw a tantrum by walking out of the meeting, holding up business for two weeks. This demonstration served to benefit no one, really.

but that's the least of it. I just wish they could stop playing parliament and get actual work done. but that seems way too much to ask. and they're tripling our fees. but (BruinDan, back me up on this) i think i can get my money back.


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Hmm...where to begin? Well, perhaps with thanks to Gumdrop for inviting me to rant here.

My student government (the CSU) as I noted in another post, is essentially trying to shut down (or perhaps more accurately trying to influence to a great extent) the school paper that I write for. That's my number one complaint. They claim that in reporting on the conflict between Arab and Jewish students at my school (and the conflict between those groups in the larger world) we were biased toward the Jewish side. Really, though, they are at least partly motivated by our aggressive reporting on the $180,000 that a former CSU executive embezzled from them over several months.

They also played a pretty large role in making that Arab-Jewish conflict worse at our school by holding a general assembly on the matter, where students could vote in favour of a CSU resolution condemning Israel for violence in the Middle East. (My school, by the way, has the largest population of Arab students in the country, and a very substantial Jewish population, as well.) The CSU went ahead with the assembly despite the fact that, it should go without saying, it plays absolutely no role whatsoever in the larger conflict. The assembly only served to increase tensions at the school between the two sides.

That's plenty for now. I'm sure there's lots more from the previous year that I can't think of. Generally, I would support their ideas (none of the stuff listed above, though), but they just make it so easy to despise them.

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Posts: 1515 | From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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No one really knows who is on my student government. We don't really know who they are (although we do remember posters being put up early in the year...and we don't remember voting, because no one runs against each other. the 'popular' people get together and decides who is going to do what for that school year). And as far as we can tell, nothing happens. Oh right, they argue over our class shirts and try slogans like "who let the dogs out?" with an empty jail cell. Hmmm, what does that say about our student population?

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Posts: 1339 | From: Las Vegas, NV, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Oy...we've got ASUCLA out here, and the group is out of control. Tripling our fees (you're right Gummy), and then failing to provide us with any meaningful services. It's just ridiculous these days. For example, I didn't think it was fair that ASUCLA gave money to the Bruin Democrats but not the Bruin Republicans. I mean, it would seem to be common sense that money should be distributed equally.

And dont even think about trying to get your money back. I requested a full refund on the grounds that I did not support where my money is going (which you are supposed to be able to do), and I got nothing. I as denied every time I tried on grounds of "insufficient evidence." What do I have to prove? That I really really really really truly dislike the groups and causes that are getting my money? As you can see, it peeved me.

So that is one thing I am not going to miss six months from today, when I get my BA and get the hell outta there.

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With only six hundred students in this college, I don't think we've EVER filled all of the positions of our student government, the NCSA (New College Student Alliance). It's only a small group of people that gets involved. On the other hand, the structures that we have in place are pretty sound. The school constitution is straight forward. The town meeting is the highest/most powerful form of government. Issues are usually discussed by the interested part of the student body before elections. They're working out a really decent computerized balloting system. The two biggest problems with our student government are 1. it has almost no real power and 2. our fearless and widely loved former president, Rachael Morris, just graduated and is leaving us. Right now we have "co-presidents" because the only single person out of the whole student body who wanted the job was someone the student body vehemently did not want. It's too bad there aren't more involved/motivated students, but I can understand why there aren't.
Posts: 257 | From: Sarasota, FL | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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My old uni had a couple of pretty average unions...which was the closest thing to a student government we had.

They utterly ignored my campus. Its the smallest, but that doesn't mean we should get systematically screwed over from day one. Its our money too.

They were largely in it for the car and mobile phone package. It was somewhat farcical in that the people who got in seemed mroe concerned about what they got out of it than what they could do.

Bleh. Basically, they seemed to be on more of an ego-trip than anything. ;p

Where were they when the Chancellor and Vice-Chancellor turned our graduation into a media-hyped parade of self-congratulation?

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Posts: 915 | From: Australia | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Well, the university I attend is not the main university in Lisbon, it's actually a small university with a small campus, and it's called ISCTE [Instituto Superior das Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa] eheh But there are over 1000 students there (just made that number, there can be 2000 maybe, I'm just not sure ehehe).

I don't really know the faces of our student government [AEISCTE], only a couple people I've seen around their office, but I'm actually quite satisfied with their work. In fact, my university has a very good reputation when it comes to the student body and government (among other things).

The fees we pay are minimal, like an anual fee of 2000$ (about US $10 ?). We get a card that gives as discounts in lots of bookstores and other shops, discounts at the photocopy store in campus (where we get some manuals or any photocopy or school material). The company that runs that Copy Store was actually installed in campus only 2 years ago, with the help and partnership of AEISCTE so... they do a good job

Plus, they organize parties in the best nightclubs around Lisbon that are for themselves, the main reason why some pupils actually choose to come to study in ISCTE.

Those happen almost every fortnight, and of course, people with the AEISCTE card have always half-price entrance tickets

They fight for our rights and also manage one of the 5 bars in campus, that one has cheaper prices and serves quick meals at lunch and those are yummy ehhe

I don't notice any "fights" between unions during the year, only when it's elections time, but that usually goes well and no major conflicts arise

So, I'm quite please with their work, actually.


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