Student Congress did a vote of no confidence for the current SBP Seth Dearmin. Apparently, if this was any other system of government besides UNC’s, this would have serious consequences. But student government? Who cares? Let’s examine.
I remember hearing that if you want to be on student congress, all you really have to do is signup and get something like 80 signatures. A quick look on the student congress website revealed that in many districts, there are a certain number of allocated seats and not that many people filling them. Actually, only three districts had all the seats filled: north campus, granville, and greek housing.
But this was meant to be a criticism of the student body presidency, not student congress (congress appropriates student fees, so as meaningless as I’d like to think their job is, they actually do serve some purpose).
A quick browsing of student code listed all the Student Body President’s roles. From what I could tell, he/she gets to sit on a few boards. That’s it. Most of these boards, they are one voice among 13 or so other people. That’s not a lot of power, not a lot at all, and yet we the students expect miracles from our SBP. It’s simply not fair. Student Body President is a glorified lobbyist, and little more. They have only as much power as the real decision makers are willing to abrogate. When the stakes are small, I’m sure the SBP gets a big voice. But when the stakes are big–you know, when millions of dollars are involved or something like that–then I’m pretty sure all the old white men sit around and are like “ok kid, now let us decide what we’re really going to do.”
Now, please realize that I’ve never participated in student government, and I’ve never spoken to any SBP–past or present. This is just a naive outsider’s opinion of what I think goes on. No other answer really makes sense. I know Seth. He was my TA last year in Religion 43. He’s a great guy, and he really does care about the students. If he actually had power and sway with those boards he sits on, I’m sure he’d be wielding it. The fact that he’s gotten no results leads me to believe it’s because he has no actual power.
Let’s stop fooling ourselves. We’re students. They’ll always think they know best. Whether or not they actually do is another question entirely.
One thought on “No confidence in Dearmin?”
Alright. It’s not a secret that just because Dearmin is on all of these committees that he his a miracle worker. He is, however, an elected student body officer and is expected to be the voice of the student body. The issue here is not whether he has the power to effect change within the tuition system. We know that he doesn’t. One voice against the rest of the BOT isn’t going to cause that much difference. The issue here is that he did NOT act as our voice. All he had to do was stand up and say “This is not what the student body wants.” In that one sentence, he would have been taking a stand against ever increasing tuition, something he said that he would fight during is SBP campaign this time last year. He refused to keep his end of the deal, and he deserves to hear what the students have to say about it. Truth is, he is graduating in May. He’s not going to be around for the next round of increases, and if he was, he’d have his stipend to pay for it. I know you say that he cares about students, but at this point, his actions AND his words speak louder than your perceptions of him.