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
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 email@example.com.