Don’t be quick to judge your organization

Jeremy Stull

Many of you know that I am a member of the Student Government Association as well as the opinion editor for this paper. I never attempt to hide that dual association. I think it benefits both the organizations to have me operate with a foot in both doors.

Jeremy Stull
Jeremy Stull

This past week, I had my worst SGA meeting to date. Basically, a 15-minute discussion hinged on the SGA constitution requiring its members to attend 10 campus events per semester. Six of those events must be run by an organization with a charter and budget from SGA. The debate was whether or not to stipulate in writing that two of the other four may be athletic events.

It is my opinion that the executive board exhibits too much authority in mandating that its general board members attend a minimum number of events in a particular fashion, but like I said in an earlier column, I am working for Ron Paul. Opposition to this over regulation is kind of my theme right now. But as they say, that is neither here nor there.

I was really feeling bummed over the whole experience considering I really respect SGA and its members, that we had such a childish back and forth over something that I felt did not even have a place existing.

Then, in true SGA fashion, the organization redeemed itself in my view within a matter of hours.

In this whole freshman election tying business, I saw a great side of Student Government. At 10 p.m., the entire SGA general board was called into the SGA offices for a special session. We far exceeded the number that was required to pass our motion. The commitment of the organization was great to see.

Then, I was faced with my first conflict of interests. Our instructions from the special session were to tell nobody of the matters discussed. I did just that.

The Chronicle got the story anyway, via a Facebook post from one of the candidates, much to the dismay of the election committee.

My first reaction was that the Chronicle did something wrong, stepped on the toes of SGA and was out of line.

Then I realized, that is the way journalism works. They had a story and they ran with it. The same is true for the story the Chronicle ran on the arrests of men’s basketball players Ike Azotam and James Johnson.

The fact is, both were time-sensitive pieces of information put in the hands of journalists. The Chronicle did what journalists do; they gave readers news they care about.

As if I needed that notion of SGA reaffirmed, we had leadership training this weekend. It was in all honestly one of the better weekends of my life. To see the way this organization embraces each other, supports each other, and truly works together because they care about each other and the community is a wonderful thing. The generic phrase ‘sense of family’ does not really begin to apply. I feel more at home there than I could possibly have fathomed.

My point being, within a very short period of time, my outlook on an entire organization went back and forth only to be entirely solidified in an extremely positive light.

Nobody was hurt in any of the situations (except maybe the kids Ike and Bo allegedly punched in the face, but that is not what this piece is about), so I guess I should calm down. This hyperconnected world that Thomas Friedman talked about last week rewards those who are quick to the point and establish a strong footing on an issue as soon as possible because if you do not, you will get buried by the other sensationalists who do.

So now to my point. People, including myself, are often too quickly to dismiss various endeavours. People tweeted their dismay within minutes of the Friedman lecture. People go to one club meeting, get bored by it and leave.

The advice that naturally follows my point is that some good old fashion sticktoitiveness would go a long way for a lot of people. Including myself.