That’s a pretty strong word and can easily be overused. It’s what some candidates have essentially suggested Webster University’s Student Government Association (SGA) will undergo if they’re elected.
The two presidential candidates (one an incumbent and the other the current senator of arts and sciences) in their intents to run have promised SGA will do a 180 — from a student bank to an advocacy group. It reads like this:
“…students need a leader to advocate for them.”
“…listening to students and their ideas.”
“…move SGA from being just a bank for students and student organizations to being an advocate for the student body, more than just once or twice a year.”
“…fight for the best interests of the students.”
“…student advocacy is the foundation and lifeblood of student government.”
These phrases roll off the tongue nicely and sound oh-so-sweet to the innocent ear. But I’m a journalist, therefore, a trained skeptic. This skepticism serves journalists well when covering government and questioning and researching the moves politicians make. Journalists who hound the government are known as “watchdogs.” Page 3 of The Journal this week is the start of how The Journal is moving forward in its watchdog role in terms of SGA.
Because SGA this year and candidates for the following academic year have stated dedication to student advocacy, we at The Journal feel it’s only right to cover this election with seriousness.
SGA candidates have made a commitment to student advocacy. The Journal is making a commitment to hold SGA to theirs.
This mindset of covering SGA is not new, but rather enhanced as the organization has promised to tackle more issues. If SGA doesn’t complete its goals or lets the goals wane, it will surely be what it currently seems to see itself as: a student bank.