It’s frustrating to be a member of Campus Council right now. It’s disheartening that, although the official party monitor policy that we passed last year certainly needed revisions, it wasn’t nearly as problematic and confusing as the House Party Policy written by Campus Life. In spite of this, we were blamed over and over again at the SGA fireside chat.
It was discouraging to have so many turn up to the fireside chat and voice their opinions, but have very few show up to our meeting a week later. Sure, none of us wanted a riot in the Governance room or anything so dramatic, but it’s frustrating to know that there are so many students unhappy with a policy that we’re not hearing from. At the end of the day we, as Council members, represent the student body. So without hearing from students specifically about what they need, we can not hope to create policy that accurately reflects that. Which is why it’s so frustrating to have this turned into what some seem to think is a students versus Council situation.
Many students treat us like we’re part of some shadowy organization that doesn’t care about what they want and that is the exact opposite of what we strive to be. Nine out of the 17 voting members on Council are students who are elected into power and intend to represent the viewpoints of the student body as a whole -— it’s our job to create legislation that serves and protects students, not to cater to what to the administration or security wants. Seeing YikYaks that are questioning who’s keeping us in check is so disappointing because it should be an obvious answer: you are.
It’s very disconcerting to have representatives from certain student groups say we aren’t transparent with our policymaking when we’re rather open about all of our decisions. All of our meetings are open to the public. The agendas and minutes for every meeting as well as all the meeting notes for all Campus Council committees are under the “public documentation” tab on our wiki. Council members’ names are publicly posted so that any student wishing to talk to them about Council issues can easily do so. We could certainly advertise the wiki better, which we will be doing in the future, but the idea that we have a lack of transparency in our policymaking is simply inaccurate and unfounded.
Overall, this is a frustrating situation for everyone involved, but this doesn’t mean we’re not going to deal with it. It’s unfortunate that Council has this reputation on campus -— but we’re taking steps to fix that. It’s regrettable that so much of a house party policy we didn’t write in the first place needs to be rewritten by Council, but we’re currently making those edits. By joining Campus Council we all made a commitment to ensure that campus policies are reflecting the wishes and needs of the student body, and we will remain committed to this no matter how difficult it can be at times.