Midterms are overwhelming the masses, students are scrambling to pay rent and our student leaders in Associated Students Inc. are dropping like flies from their elected positions. Welcome to week seven of the fall semester at SF State.
It all started at the top of the food chain when former President Kenneth Collins resigned one week into the semester, setting the tone for one of the ugliest trends SF State has witnessed from its student government in recent years.
How can we possibly expect our current government to handle the responsibilities of student leadership when they can’t even hold their own seats in office?
Since the resignation of Collins, ASI lost Vice President of Finance Ramon Gonzalez and Vice President of Student Affairs Virginia McBride. In other words, only two of ASI’s original top executives still remain in office, and one of them, the former Vice President of Internal Affairs Sara Padash, was essentially thrown into presidency after her captain jumped ship.
What’s most striking about this confusing debacle is the volume of the dropouts, and the complete lack of transparency from our elected officials.
According to the ASI agenda records, the last student official to confirm their resignation was in December 2012. Our current board managed to lose three of its members within the first month of the semester, and has not been forthcoming about the issues that have caused such disarray for their organization.
Collins and Gonzalez cited “personal reasons” for their resignations, while McBride said she would rather focus on her studies than handle the responsibilities of her position.
Members of the student government are only expected to maintain a low 2.0 grade point average hold office. Therefore, schoolwork and grades should not be a problem for an organization that is held to the lowest academic standards in our school.
It’s almost unfathomable that the standards are so minimal for our student leaders. If you take a look at the athletics department, you’ll see that student athletes have higher academic standards.
The 2013-2014 Student-Athlete Handbook requires athletes who fall under a 2.3 GPA to report to study hall and possibly ride the bench on gameday. In addition, athletes under a 2.0 GPA are put on probation and are required to meet with an academic counselor and major advisor to boost their grades.
Out of all student athletes, 106 of them made the Honor Roll last year and 72 earned Dean’s list honors. What does it say when athletics can manage to land almost half of its students on the Honor Roll, but the top three officials of ASI can’t even meet a lower standard?
As a student body, we should hold our leaders to the highest level of integrity and academic grit. The group organizers should be held accountable for allowing these students to run for office in the first place.
Students should not abandon their responsibilities when the going gets tough. If our former leaders’ struggles were unbearable to the point of resignation not even halfway through the semester, then they never should have been there in the first place.
It’s time the University holds ASI to better standards. It’s time ASI stepped up to the plate and let the SF State community know what is really going on in our student government.