Why students should care about Student Senate, scandals or not (opinion column)

Chris Slattery

When students ask other students what the most popular organization on campus is (and this gets asked a lot), the most common answer is, of course, the Harry Potter Club. And why not? While the Twilight franchise divided the world into Team Edward and Team Jacob, the Harry Potter series has, thankfully, only one protagonist who is, thankfully, not as physically attractive.

So with that given, the question then becomes “Which student group is the second most popular?” I’ll give you a hint: the answer is not the Grand Valley State University Student Senate.

But it should be.

Student Senate is very much an integral part of this campus, and it puzzles me why they remain shrouded in apathetic mystery by our student body. Without acting in some sort of creepy, totalitarian fashion, the Student Senate controls a lot of what happens at GVSU and doesn’t get a lot of recognition for it.

So what gives?

Last month, I talked about the general lack of interest in the 50th anniversary of GVSU. I believe something similar is happening here. But we can reach a solution by different means.

For example, I believe one of the biggest problems facing Student Senate is the fact that they refuse to emulate the lives of real senators. Acquiring a seat on the Student Senate should stipulate the need for at least one scandal per year. This doesn’t necessarily mean that our peers need to go out and start soliciting sex in airport bathrooms – similar to former Senator Larry Craig – or cheating on their cancer-stricken wives – like former Senator John Edwards. Instead, I believe that some members of Student Senate can engage in college-related scandals.

I mean, what special party group from GVSU is going to front millions of dollars to ensure its legislation gets ratified? Phi Kappa Sigma? Rather than large campaign contributions, why not have some Student Senators steal the answers to a test to further their GPA? To be fair, “Watergate” makes a lot of sense, considering we’re known as the Lakers.

Or, better yet, the Student Senate could start a massive investigation because one of the members wasn’t invited to a party. Bringing in students one-by-one, asking questions such as, “Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the Robot Dinosaur Party on Facebook?” and demanding people to name names would be an effective (or, should I say evil?) way to get publicity.

Of course, the Student Senate would never abide by this suggestion. I guess they’re, like, into that whole helping student/administration relations deal. Or something.

Seriously, with an organization like this, it is an absolute mind-melt why more people don’t know about the Student Senate or what they do, such as change the meal plan time slots so it is more convenient. Currently, they are preparing for a fundraiser for the infamous Battle of the Valleys, which has divided the world into Team Grand and Team Sag.

Maybe we should look to the Harry Potter Club for solutions on how to unite us again.

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