Comment box removed, student voice still welcomed

by James Tillison

Student Government Association [SGA] is responsible for hearing the complaints and concerns of the student body. Typically there is a comment box section on the SGA minutes, which is sent out to all of the enrolled students so they can add what they deem relevant and necessary to be brought to their attention. Recently, however, students have been noticing that the comment box has gone missing.

This new occurrence has brought worry to several students’ minds. Why might a missing comment box trouble the students? Simply, it means the students have lost their voice. Having the ability to comment and contribute to the governing source was a great source for students to express concerns. Losing the opportunity to add something can give the feeling of being powerless.

Rich Ramos, faculty advisor to the SGA for ten years, said earlier this fall, there was a lot of abuse of what the comment box is meant for. He spoke of how people were using it as a means to complain without a whole lot of validation for their complaint. It became used as peoples’ personal forums, which is not what it was intended for. The intent of this form of free speech was to allow the students to give an input to what they want to see in SGA do.

“In all honesty at some points it gone downright rude and mean spirited, so we took it down,” Ramos said.

So, what are SGA and Ramos doing to rectify this issue and bring back the student voice? Do not worry; the student voice is still very audible. There are ample ways for students to be heard by the governing body. For example, the meetings are not closed or private. Ramos said, students are welcome to attend the meetings. A student simply has to be comfortable to step up and be honest with what they are feeling and what they need to share with the group.

Ramos says that 90 percent of comments that are brought up or submitted are brought up in a meeting to see if there is a way to deal with it. SGA meetings are Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. are always open to anyone wishing to attend.