Elections are not Student Government

Since we took office in April, a personal mantra of the Student Government executive board’s has been to “let the student voice be heard.” We’ve worked tirelessly over the past 10 months to make that a reality. However, in light of recent events, we’d like to let our voice be heard.

 

Student Government is often referred to as an institution. We do not deny this. Since 1902, SG has worked to positively impact the lives of students. Buildings have been built, positions have been created, events have been planned and services have been enacted because students voiced a need and SG heard it.

 

In just this past year, a student seat has been added to the University Budget Council; Welcome Week and Safety Week drew the largest crowds to date; immense improvements to both risk management procedures and appropriations processes have changed the way student organizations run; and a much-anticipated Longhorn Run has harnessed the restless spirit of students from all across campus. These are examples from a long list of hard-fought achievements.

 

In spite of these achievements, we know that SG isn’t perfect. Many of our accomplishments are not always tangible and we’re comprised of three branches that can have different goals. However, we have all, at one point or another, come together under the common goal of working for students.

 

As we look to the coming weeks, we have two, maybe three executive alliances before us, each with something new to offer SG. What one may offer in experience, the other offers in perspective — both of which are necessary to represent the student voice.

 

The events of the past few days reflect poorly on SG and detract from our mission to earnestly represent students at the University of Texas. The time surrounding elections brings out heightened emotions and does not display SG at its most productive. We ask that students remember that elections are but a few short weeks in an entire year. Elections are not Student Government. Thoughtful representation and the positive change we can bring is Student Government.

 

It takes guts to file in an election and even more to survive one. It is our sincere hope that whoever the victor be this coming month makes sure that the institution of UT Student Government survives, that its project remain steadfast, its reputation is continually built on and improved and that the student voice continues to be heard.

 

Butler and Baker are Student Government president and vice president, respectively.