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SA’s operations need a second look

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Over the past few months, the Student Association has been popping up in the news quite frequently, and not in a good way. They’ve been related to wasteful spending, claims of bribery, and withholding information, just to name a few. As the semester goes on and these articles continue to come out, we as students have to start putting our feet down until SA acts in a transparent matter. This has to happen before they have negative press.

In case you’re unaware, the ASP reported that the SA Senate pays for their t-shirts through student activity fees. And not only do they take students’ money for t-shirts, but also they haven’t allocated a single dollar to any other student group on campus for members’ shirts, except for costumes and uniforms.

Daniel Russell

   There hasn’t been much conversation about this topic and there should be. Taking students’ activity fees, and solely using it for your own personal gain is wrong. It’s also stealing. SA’s loophole for this is that they only allocate money for clothing that can be returned, such as uniforms. But when it comes to specific clothing for a student club, they don’t hesitate on keeping the money to themselves. As a result, student groups are left to fend for themselves.

   This also isn’t the first time SA has questionably used students’ activity fees. The ASP also reported that during a conference trip to New Orleans (which just so happened to be during Mardi Gras), members of SA that attended spent $500 of their budget on Uber rides. While President-elect Langie Cadesca claims that the Ubers were used for transportation to dining, several senators claimed that the Ubers were used to transport between bars in the middle of the night.

   They also have a group of transparency bylaws, which they’ve been violating for several years. First, senators’ voting records were not publicly available to voters, going against their bylaw that states that these records must be published on their website. Another SA bylaw states that they must publish their minutes meetings on their website, which they haven’t done since 2015-16.

        I feel like a broken record at this point. SA has repeatedly shown how dysfunctional, and even corrupt, it can be. Some of the points listed above are due to lackadaisical mistakes, which still isn’t much to be proud of. Having SA operate in a smoother, transparent fashion is something that should be their number one priority, but that doesn’t seem to be the case right now.


Class of '18 - Daniel Russell is the opinions editor for the Albany Student Press, and helps come up with the debate topics each week. He’s an English major, and last summer, he interned for a website called Newscult, writing various entertainment articles.

1 Comment

  1. One of Your Representatives
    April 12, 2018 at 2:17 am — Reply

    The executive branch gets polos too with SA acivity fee money, so don’t count them out (it happens to be more expensive!). If you really want to make a difference, call upon the Board of Finance (who is making the internal budget this week!!) to cut the t-shirt line and lower the conference lines. We are here to work for you. But new leadership is what will be required to change the current culture of the Student Association, and to insist that the bylaws are followed properly and that transparency laws are being followed. This hopefully will happen under President Cadesca’s term, but it HAS to be in conjunction with the Senate and the next Senate Chair. Neither side needs to concede on its beliefs, but they need to work together and ACTUALLY compromise in order to get things done for the students. No more secrets, no more bullshit, no more ‘I forgot’ or trying to beat around the bush. That’s what we need. But! For what it’s worth, any student that wants to see something that is allowed to be public under transparency laws, can walk RIGHT into the SA office and demand that the President, Senate Chair, or Comptroller share that information. Talk is good, and acknowledging SA’s faults is better, but the real key is action.

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