<< Front page Commentary May 14, 2004

OC Senators must be paid

Until last month, I would have told you that Student Senate was a lazy bunch of scallywags. In the past years I reviled them for relying on OPIRG and the Recyclers to get enough votes to pass their referendums instead of doing it themselves.

I’ve never attended senate office hours. I’ve never attended senate forums. But after covering the last three excruciatingly painful Sunday meetings, I wish I’d been at every one.

Student senators aren’t perfect, and neither is their governing process. In addressing issues, I’ve seen senate steamroll, and I’ve seen senate backpedal. I’ve seen discussions erupt in screams, and fizzle out in abstentions. I doubt any of my friends have a clue what Senate does, or what it’s accomplished — I’m not sure I really do myself.

But watching senate in action showed me that every senator we’ve elected has a genuine passion to represent students, and takes the process very seriously. Our senators work extremely hard at their jobs, and are continually seeking to do their jobs better.

Administering the referendum online, and passing it, is only one example.

As a student body that cries out at every cut in what we care about, we should be ashamed for voting against paying our senators, who were appointed to advocate on our behalf.

I don’t care if our senators are work-study students who can’t otherwise be involved, or flaming-mad Republicans. All of our senators are dedicated and deserving of appreciation.

From one poor schmuck working a thankless — though thankfully still paid job — to another, I know our senators aren’t in it for the money.


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