Wednesday, April 17, 2002 Volume 67, Issue 132


 
 









 

SGA makes ludicrous allegations

Matthew E. Caster

I don't often write about campus events. Very little, other than my forced education, happens on this campus that is of concern to me. That was, until
last Friday. At the monthly meeting of the UH Student Publications Committee, the committee's members from the Student Government Association, as well as numerous members of the UH public, cried foul over numerous issues regarding the fine publication you are presently reading. Some of their arguments were justified; others weren't. But the way they made those arguments was, quite frankly, childish.

Slightly more than a year ago, I faced a difficult choice. I enjoyed writing my column for this newspaper, but felt the desire to get more involved on
campus. I chose to run for one of the engineering seats in the SGA until I heard my column would be suspended if I won my seat, because of a conflict
of interests. I withdrew from the race, knowing I could make more of a difference through these columns. It is a decision I have never regretted.

All schools need student government. But that student government must be accountable, responsible and active. Ours is rather pathetic in all three
areas. The greatest achievement of our school's SGA over the last two years, at least judging by how often it brags about it, is saving the Chinese Star
Restaurant. I've never eaten at the Chinese Star. I don't know anyone who's ever eaten at the Chinese Star. In fact, the only thing I've heard about the
Chinese Star is that the SGA saved it about six months before the health department shut it down for several weeks for code violations. Yummy.

In fact, in three years of attending this fine University, not once have I had my life affected by the SGA. Microsoft programs available for $7? Too late for
that ... I already own them all. The SGA does not drive me to and from school, do my homework, study for my tests, significantly lower food prices on
campus or make me feel any safer when I walk out to my car after dark.

One thing some members of this puppet organization do have, however, is the audacity to storm into an SPC meeting and blast the entire staff of The
Daily Cougar for biased reporting. I mentioned in last week's column that bias is everywhere, even among the ranks of the DC.

I'm not exactly sure how marching into the SPC meeting and stating that our readership is non-existent thanks to our biased reporting is supposed to
correct that problem.

Fellow members of the student body, the organization you elected refuses to believe that you're reading this right now. And it claims to represent you.

Here's why the SGA has to claim The Daily Cougar is biased: We criticize it. We serve as a check on it. Did you expect the SGA to let you know some of
its funding was misappropriated? Would the SGA confess to election improprieties? What the SGA really wants is a newspaper that reports the good,
but not the bad or the ugly. 

What you have, my friends, is a newspaper with a proud tradition of reporting the truth, as best as we are able to ascertain it. The SGA dreams of
having the same kind of trust from its constituency that you place in us every time you pick up the paper.

I close this article with two challenges. The first goes to the SGA: Stop leveling accusations of bias just because the DC doesn't report that you're the
kings of campus. Our job is not to make you look good; it's to report what you're doing and let the students decide. The second goes to all my readers
out there: I invite all of you to come to the next meeting of the Student Publications Committee. Show the SGA that you appreciate fair and balanced
reporting. Show it that the Cougar actually does represent students on this campus. It seems to have forgotten.

Caster, a proud member of The Daily Cougar staff and senior chemical engineering major, can be reached at patrioticcatmaster@yahoo.com.
 
 

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