As usual, USG’s asleep at the wheel

Greg Chick and Greg Chick

For the Undergraduate Student Government, it’s the best of times, and it’s the worst of times. Congrats on this whole shuttle service proposal. I guess this is the part where I stick my shoe in my mouth and hope all the criticisms I’ve thrown their way can be forgiven.

I suppose if this goes through it makes up for the fact that USG President Johnnie L. Lewis spent his whole year crafting his new resume and going to countless, pointless executive meetings with administrators.

An improved shuttle service has been one of those annual things, alongside parking, that is on the top of students’ wish lists to get fixed.

But time and time again, USG fails them. Could USG actually pull it off?

Well, it’s not all said and done if the referendum passes. The administration still has to accept it.

Though it seems likely they’d have no problem with it (when’s the last time the University had a problem with raising tuition?) you never know.

But here’s the problem: This is going to make or break whatever “legacy” this year’s USG administration ever has.

I’ll give props to USG for doing a pretty decent job of garnering student support for this referendum. It will vastly improve the shuttle service, but if the administration ignores it, it’s going to look real bad for USG.

After creating such a campus-wide buzz for this proposal, to see it fall on deaf ears is really going to turn students off of USG.

The last thing USG needs is the few students who actually paid attention to them for once to be upset with them.

I was happy to see the student protest in the Union the other day over the meal plan rollover removal. The student groups that ran it did a great service to the student body, showing the administration that students wouldn’t take it sitting down.

But where was USG? Why haven’t they organized something similar?

A rally, petition signing, march on the President’s Office, something? For an issue that unanimously has infuriated students across campus, USG seems not to be doing anything about it. Getting upstaged by a few student organizations isn’t helping either.

Another strike against USG has been their presidential elections last week. They barely caused a gust of wind on campus.

Not that I really care, as I’m a graduate student, but it really tells you something about students’ excitement about USG.

Besides the annoyingly large chalk writings throughout campus and the strung-up drapes that the wind victimizes too much for me to read, I haven’t heard much of the candidates.

I’ve heard more from student government candidates back in high school when they’d put flyers in my locker, have campaigners bug me on my way to lunch from study hall, and burn a good 10 minutes out of first period English by explaining their platforms.

The only public debate they had saw only 15 students attend, including members of USG. Considering the student population, that’s proportionally less fanfare than I’d get if I walked into Victoria’s Secret and announced George Lucas was signing autographs outside the store.

I’m not excusing everybody, as even The BG News didn’t highlight the elections until its “In Focus” section until Wednesday, three days after voting commenced.

It also seems the “Rock the Vote” program was pretty lackluster, too. Just another organized event that highlighted both student apathy and distaste for USG. When student government continues to fail the student body, there’s little motivation to get involved.

With elections over and done with, it’s time to turn the page and look to the future.

Maybe the new candidates can really invigorate the student body. Perhaps they’ll be able to stand up for what students are concerned with – parking, shuttle service, meal plans, rising tuition, and all around not getting shafted by the administration.

There’s always hope, right?