STAFF EDITORIAL: Let the success carry over SGA

Staff

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With the spring semester comes sunshine, allergy attacks and Student Government Association elections.

While students (and the Rip) may criticize SGA, they’ve also done some great things for Bakersfield College. Like most things in life, the SGA seems to have positive and negative elements. With the incoming officers, there are some changes that need to be made and a few things that should stay the same.

The Renegade Food Pantry is one program that’s at the top of the positive list. The non-profit program takes food donations and hands them out to students that need them.

Last semester alone the pantry gave away food to over 6,000 students. It’s great to see that even in these hard economic times, there is help and hope available. It’s even better to know that over 6,000 students didn’t have to choose between gas and dinner.

Another noteworthy contribution is the Be Fit program that started last semester. Be Fit was implemented to encourage a healthy lifestyle in BC students. The activities have included exercise classes, demonstrations and starting a Weight Watchers group on campus.

At a time when most of us are living off of coffee, peanut butter sandwiches and good intentions, it’s a welcome change to be able to do something healthy like take a Tai Chi class or pick up actual fruits and vegetables from the Renegade Pantry.

Although the BCOUGH campaign has had debatable success, the SGA should be commended for trying to reach out to students and staff and consider their opinions. The planned poll to vote on the campus smoking policy might be beating a dead horse, but democracy is important, especially at BC where SGA officers are paid with money from students.

One issue that the SGA needs to improve upon is their transparency to the student body. Rumors of mismanaged funds, suspicious resignations and a strange policy of privacy still surround the SGA and all its officers. The fact that the Renegade Rip has had problems getting in touch with various officers over the last few semesters and that their meetings are all but exclusive events doesn’t help matters.

The SGA needs to be more open about the goings-on of officers that have been elected to serve the student body and where our money is being spent. It also needs to be more available to the newspaper whose job it is to inform students about what’s going on around them. They’re only hurting themselves and their credibility by remaining silent on important issues.

Another welcome change would be to see SGA officers finish an entire term. Over the past few years, there have been several instances of officers resigning for no given reason and elected candidates not even being put in office. Again, students deserve the right to be kept up to date on their elected officials and when the SGA provides no answers, it’s only giving students reason to be suspicious.

In the past elections, less than 1,000 BC students voted. The SGA is about to bust out a campaign that includes raffles and special events. (Please disregard the fact that funding to the tutoring center has been cut, but the SGA can give away iPads.) It’s in everyone’s best interest that as many students as possible vote this semester and that everyone keeps their elected officials accountable for their actions.

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