Letter to the Editor

I found your article, “Student Senate could be doing more to accomplish their goals” to be inconclusive, unfairly biased and not credible. While the article has a few good points, most of the facts and polls aren’t credited, and it leaves many questions that I will answer.

First off, when Student Senate decided to move forward with Higher One, it was decided that we would move forward with investigations involving questions about the associated fees. When it was found out that Higher One could have fees associated with its use, Student Senate decided to find out what these fees would be and how much they would cost students. The idea of allowing a company to handle our financial aid with all sorts of hidden fees attached was unacceptable to the members of Student Senate, so it was decided that we would move forward with learning more about Higher One before they were approved. As always, Student Senate acted in a way that would be in the best interests of the student body.

Secondly, the committee formed to discuss the sale of bottled water on campus versus MCTC’s own water system wasn’t formed until the last week of September, on the 28th. This committee spent the month of October finding out their objectives, forming subcommittees, organizing, and planning meetings. Each objective poses a question that will take each subcommittee time to research, consult with knowledgeable people, and discuss with the main committee. Given the objectives posed to this committee, I find their progress more than satisfactory for using the time allotted to them.

Student Senate had been active this semester more than ever. Even while operating well under budget and with half of its executive board positions vacated, Student Senate has been very productive this semester. Making policy for the new Helland center, considering Higher One at MCTC, forming a water committee, striving to improve the college’s main website, attending the MSCSA leadership summit, and organizing the newly formed textbook committee have all been done alongside the Senate’s usual business of ratifying new clubs, senators, and organizing Student Life activities.

Student Senate is flexible, Student Senate is ambitious, but above all else, Student Senate is thorough. Higher One needed more investigation because it was deemed unacceptable to allow a company with many hidden fees to take funds from our students. While these suspicions turned out to be false, Student Senate left nothing to chance at the well-being of our student body. The policy for the Helland center was revised with ways to make it more accessible to students, and most of the facilities there are for students primarily. It is in this way that Student Senate acts in the best interests of the student body, and will continue to do so.

As it stands, Student Senate could use more involvement from MCTC‘s students. Student Senate has had more publicity than ever this year with its open forums on the Skyway level, website, public meetings and even coverage from City College News. Many of these are firsts for Student Senate, and it is usually well represented.  Despite this improvement in publicity, Student Senate didn’t get the amount of interest that should be generated with a campus and student body of MCTC’s size. The fact of the matter is that no matter how much something is publicized, it simply comes down to how much one person is interested or even curious about the topic. I wished the poll results displayed in the article included how many students were interested in their Student Senate, campus politics and student government. As these students were not asked this question, I feel the polls were unfairly biased.

Given the relativity to the above topics, I believe that process of politics such as student government will always have more people willing to criticize it than it will have people who are willing to contribute. Having said this, I hope that not only this opinion piece, but also the article mentioned in this piece will create more interest in Student Senate, and cause more students to contribute.