The preamble of the SGA constitution states:
“We, the full-time undergraduate students of Gannon University, serving as the official voice and administrative unit, desiring to advance the student intellectually, to augment his/her education, to foster a spirit of friendship and companionship among members of the student body, faculty, and administration, and so to do better in the name of this institution of higher learning, do establish this Constitution for the Student Government Association of Gannon University.”
However, the line “serving as the official voice and administrative unit” was called into question at the last meeting when several students accused the executive board of “backroom dealings.” SGA President Angela Coustillac and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) sat down to discuss a compromise for Unity Week after the general assembly had already voted on a plan, and many representatives felt slighted by this.
This is a bit of an overreaction, if you ask me.
Yes, the executive committee should’ve gone through the proper channels to address the situation, but SAAC had a deadline for a T-shirt order and needed actionable advice. As the chief executive of student government, the president did her duty by taking matters into her own hands while the general assembly was not in session.
Was there ego involved in this decision and the following actions by the GA? Possibly, on both sides. The executive board was concerned about Unity Week, the SGA reps were worried about their legitimacy as part of SGA and SAAC was concerned their fundraising event would be left for dead.
But despite all of that, the students of Gannon got the best deal they could. Just like the free market, the SGA members came together and reached a consensus that none of them would’ve individually thought of. And that’s the beauty of democracy.
So while it’s easy to overreact to statements from SGA reps – “SGA is becoming more of a branch of the administration rather than a reflection of the students’ voices” – I would caution against cries of revolution. Because when it comes down to it, everyone in Waldron 219 that night had Gannon’s best interests at heart. They used different tactics, but stood for the students’ voice. And when they meet again, they’ll keep fighting for the students, which is really what it’s all about.