Tabled USG bylaw would reduce student voice

Tulane University’s various student organizations are the best indicator of student perspectives. Collections of students with similar interests allows organizations to most effectively endorse representatives of the Tulane Undergraduate Student Government. These endorsements, however, may be stopped due to a recent bylaw that was tabled during the senate session on Tuesday. Without amendments, this action would alter the state of endorsements from organizations to entire schools backing USG hopefuls.

Tulane’s schools are fairly big and broad. They cover many departments, with a variety of majors. This leaves a lot of room for differences between members of a school, who may have more diverse opinions on student government. The result is an empty show of support.

In theory, a school choosing one candidate implies that the entirely community of that school supports this decision. Unfortunately, it is of less significance than gaining the support of individual organizations. These are composed of a smaller number of students, with more concentrated mindsets, who have the unity to truly back a candidate.

Another positive aspect of the current system, which allows the endorsement of candidates by student organizations, is the opportunity to provide a more accurate image of candidates. When voting for student government, it’s important to understand candidates beyond the broad language used in their platforms. Student organizations offer insight into what fully encompasses a candidate’s values.

Only allowing endorsements from schools keeps student government within the social circle of those already involved. As a government that’s meant to represent the entire undergraduate student body of the school, it should constitute representatives of the multitude of causes that affect students. Reducing endorsements only to school senates takes away from that message by limiting outlets of expression that shape the diversity of thought among elected members.

We understand that this legislation is tabled and under revision. Given this, we look forward to reading the amendments but hope that the importance of student organizations during this process is taken into consideration.