Editorial: Holding SGA accountable amidst terrible debate attendance

Candidates participate in the SGA debates on March 20 and 21. Photo by Unique Rodriguez | The Signal

On March 20 and 21, The Signal moderated the Student Government Association’s annual debates, putting potential Presidents, Executive Vice Presidents, Senators and Speakers to the test with hotly contested campus issues and concerns. When moderating the annual debates, The Signal’s goal was largely to inform the student body of its options when voting. You deserve to know your candidates’ platforms, and we provide a forum to voice them.

And while the debates ran smoothly, they did little to engage the audience. Why? Because there was hardly an audience at all. Among the 413 seats in Student Center’s Speaker’s Auditorium, a cursory glance across the room would show you only about 5 percent of those seats were filled.

But before we start pointing our fingers at the student body, we should be holding our SGA representatives accountable as well – who incidentally all failed to show up. Where were SGA’s current Senators? Where were the EVPs? Where was the Speaker? Where was the President? When asked during their March 22 meeting why their attendance was almost nonexistent, SGA representatives simply said “they didn’t know.”

It seems the conversation about SGA accountability is more troubling than we initially thought. Not only does SGA have difficulty in communicating to the student body, it also has difficulty communicating internally.

For the third year straight, SGA has struggled to pull in a lively audience to its debates. And we must ask: if SGA won’t even show for its own debates, why should the students?