This endorsement is as much an endorsement for change as it is for Mr. Hyde himself. While I do not doubt the altruism, dedication, and ability of the majority of student government members, the organization remains stagnant, overly self-congratulatory, and in continuing violation of its charter.
A very public debate about the SGA’s function was waged on these pages throughout the last semester, but the association has failed to respond to the external pressure, pressure which was previously unprecedented. Despite this new motivation to reform and expand, the SGA remained in violation of its most basic principles as outlined in its Constitution. The Constitution promises that all campus issues will be presented openly to the student body, but does anyone outside of student organization leadership even know what the SGA is working on? The charter also guarantees that candidates make their platforms public and submit to organization-sponsored debates. We are less than one week from a pivotal election, and this has simply not occurred.
The SGA did consistently respond to editorial criticism, but it did so in a non-specific, “pat me on the back,” absolutely meaningless manner. When charges were levied, the response was always predictable and formulaic – outlining certain progress the SGA has helped student organizations make, and celebrating fund-raising efforts or personal member achievement, but never once responding to the inadequacies that had been specifically called into question. It is like being charged with murder and attempting to acquit yourself by proclaiming that you do charity work or have a high grade point average – or being charged with rape and expecting people to forgive you because at least you didn’t kill. Dan Looney even went so far as to claim that “SGA members are the most dedicated and involved students on campus” – a statement that defines the arrogance and uselessness of the current administration.
Tom Hyde is vigilantly dedicated to correcting these inherent and glaring flaws. He pledges to bring campus debate to an open forum, and vows to raise the value of discourse above style and into substance and analysis. He is in favor of public campaigns and thorough philosophical inspections. His extensive political knowledge and commitment to further ideology and eliminating the prospect of boundaries and possibility, attributes that are embarrassingly lacking in the current regime, have been clearly evident in Hyde’s contributions to these pages and at his stated platform. A change is needed. Hyde represents innovation and an expansion of the SGA’s potential.