Last week, I watched in amazement as both the University of Minnesota Student Association and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly passed the slate of Student Service Fees Committee members without any unnecessary drama or breakdown in deliberations.
In years past âÄî especially last year âÄî student government couldnâÄôt agree on anything, and as a consequence, couldnâÄôt get anything done. A lot of credibility was lost.
This year seems to be a whole new world. MSA members get along and seem to have a shared understanding of their goals. MSA Forum Speaker Drew Horwood understands how to run his meetings well. Since they now end on time, attendance has increased dramatically. MSA President Lizzy Shay has been able to earn the respect and admiration of her rivals, which explains why her budget passed almost unanimously.
Even the committee directors are churning out a stream of interesting new ideas and initiatives, many of which IâÄôve seen reported on in the Minnesota Daily. For example, MSAâÄôs partnership with the upcoming group TEDxUMN, which will bring the world renowned TEDTalks program to our campus, is a result of unprecedented cooperation.
In the end, the student body wins because our student government is finally doing its job. Furthermore, some feared that last yearâÄôs huge strides in strategic communication would falter once its architect graduated, but they have continued with the same force as before.
I will admit that I didnâÄôt vote in the election last year. I wasnâÄôt impressed with any of the candidates.
But allow me to say that student government has earned my respect. I hope it continues into the spring, when advocacy with our elected officials will be critical. I hope the Daily will start focusing on student government more than it has before, since student government has earned its place back in the public discourse.