No credits for SGA
Just when I thought the Student Government Association couldn’t be any more needless or ridiculous, they go and pull a stunt like they just did, and remind me why I feel the way I do.
The stunt, or to them, their new genius concept, gave them a front-page story in the Massachusetts Daily Collegian last Thursday. The idea is that the SGA should create a voluntary course entitled “Legal Issues in Student Governance and Higher Education” in order for senators to receive academic credits for their hard work and dedication to – well, to whomever it is who allegedly benefits from the existence of the SGA.
In Alyssa Creamer’s Collegian story, “SGA votes to approve course for its members,” the SGA’s acting Administrative Affairs Committee Chair, Jared Rose, gave an explanation for the logic behind creating the course. According to the story, Jared stated that he finds the SGA a “very demanding and intense” extracurricular activity, and he wonders why he received credits in the past “just for being in the marching band,” but not for being in the SGA.
To Jared’s credit, he made a handful of points. Unfortunately, I find none of them to be at all legitimate. For one, he stated that the SGA “takes up more time than two classes put together.” He also goes on to say that the formation of the class would help the students in the SGA find time to meet informally when they normally wouldn’t be able to because of the varying scheduling conflicts amongst the senators. But the biggest point he made in the story was this – “The SGA is a real service to the University, and those students deserve credit for all of their work.”
To be completely honest, the idea is the most ridiculously arrogant thing the SGA has done since they voted against the Iraq war. These senators want school credit because they have to put time into their “service?” Just think of how ridiculous this concept is. For starters, if compared to any athletic team at the University of Massachusetts, the SGA is literally nothing when it comes to the necessary extra time and work that is put in.
Should basketball players receive credit for spending so much time at practice? Should the football team get credits for spending extra time at the gym? Maybe they should, but those points are more legitimate than what the SGA is arguing. What about the presidents of the various clubs around campus providing a real service to the University? I have enough experience in clubs to know that there are many students out there that put in extra work and time to preparing, organizing and running events all around campus. And these people are not complaining about a lack of academic credits like these senators are doing.
I mean, using the SGA’s logic, I am in line for some academic credits for writing this column. But you don’t see me wasting the University’s time.
If SGA members are going to get academic credit for their work and effort, everyone who puts in a comparable amount of time and work into their own respective extracurricular activity deserves it as well. It would be hypocritical of the school to grant credits to members of the SGA for the reasons they stated and not give credits to everyone else doing comparable work. It’s ridiculously egocentric and naive for the SGA to think they deserve academic credits, when students 10 times more worthy are demanding nothing of the sort.
And even if this class were created, who is going to pay for the materials and teachers required to have the course? I am not banking on the SGA paying for it. I also know I don’t want my school expenses to go up by endorsing the SGA.
The actual resolution passed by the SGA in part states the following, “the time it takes to do [senate] jobs to their fullest often cause academic sacrifices and little compensation of any kind.” How arrogant are these kids? It’s called a resume. Members of the SGA can put the fact that they were in the SGA on their resume and receive credit for it when they apply for graduate school or other jobs, exactly like every single other student who has ever done anything that requires time and work that doesn’t give them compensation in the form of academic credit.
The SGA is just making itself look like the whining, arrogant, brat kid you see on “My Super Sweet 16” who complains that the new Lexus their parents bought them doesn’t have a sunroof.
Why are these senators in the SGA in the first place if they are passing a resolution that complains they don’t get “compensation of any kind?” I thought the compensation was being able to do a “service” for the University; being able to put it on your resume. I thought it was a privilege. Now they want credits too?
They knew going into the SGA there were no credits. Instead of focusing on themselves, the SGA should focus on the interests of the students and what they want – like online voting, which has been on the unresolved table for years.
I know the SGA is a joke and you probably find yourself wondering why you should even care about the SGA because of this, as you never did before. Well, there’s the principle of it.
The “service” done by the SGA seems to be no more legitimate or worthy of credits than the service done by many other students, clubs and athletes at the University. Senators don’t put in any more time than any other kids who are actively involved in their extracurricular activities who also don’t receive academic credit. Senators shouldn’t get credit just because they stomp their feet and whine the most publicly. And we don’t even need to get into how I can’t think of a single time in my life I have benefited from the “service” the SGA provides. I would wager I could probably accomplish as much as they have this past semester in about two hours.
Then again, maybe I couldn’t. I can’t guarantee that I would have been able to match their accomplishments like the one about putting voting online – by taking it absolutely nowhere while they focus on themselves.
Alex Perry is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.