Real service in residence halls, not SGA

Eric Marrapodi

Elections are fun, aren’t they? Everyone gets all riled up and makes big empty promises and in the end it comes down to who has the catchiest campaign slogan or the prettiest smile (advantage Melissa Dudra).

Yes, March is the month when those students looking to fill the blank space on their resume head out and try to make a difference for their fellow students. They loudly proclaim they will be the voice of the voiceless, and that they will have the ear of the university’s president, all while lowering prices in the cafeteria, building an eight tier parking lot and driving you to and from the bar.

For four years, I have heard candidates say the same thing and every year tuition goes up, the prices in the cafeteria remain exorbitant and the parking situation seems to get worse.

Every day I circle the commuter lot, trailing people to their car like a shark following a trail of blood because there are just enough parking spaces for me not have one.

In the fall, I tailed one girl for five minutes to her car and then she just opened the trunk, threw a bag in and headed back towards the gym. I almost screamed my way into cardiac arrest. Shortly thereafter I started walking to school and I cursed the day I voted for Aaron, Tom and Melissa who all swore they would fix this.

I took a stroll through the Ledges Sunday and I noticed an endless sea of campaign flyers. It is hard to discern the political leanings and platforms of the candidates from their flyers.

What I could determine from the posters was this, Dennis Kisck is for girls kissing in their underwear, and Melissa Dudra wants to be done, as in “Do the Dudra.”

By no means am I trying to single out our current student government president, Melissa Dudra, and insinuate anything about her personal life. I am saying I have no idea what she or anyone else stands for based on their campaign flyers. I may be underselling their platforms, but I had a hard time finding any substantive information about what they planned to do once elected from their flyers.

Then I took a bold investigative step, as any good journalist would, and I played another game of Mind Sweeper. But after that, I went back and read the positions of the candidates as spelled out in last week’s issue of The Chronicle.

Yet again, I found myself perplexed as to what exactly either of the candidates for student body president planned to do if elected. They were excellent at pointing out the problems, but offered far fewer solutions.

The same night I was walking through the Ledges I talked to friend who is a Resident Assistant about the differences between being a Resident Assistant and being member of the Student Government Association.

If elected to the Executive Board of SGA you get a stipend in the form of a $10,000 credit on your bill from the Bursar’s Office.

If selected to be a RA you get a stipend in the form of free room and board. My friend the RA thinks the SGA Executive Board Members are overpaid.

“Have they ever had anyone throw beer bottles at their door at three in the morning because they were the Vice President of Public Relations for the SGA?” the RA said.

Being a Resident Assistant can be dreadful. I served two tours of duty, one in the Commons and one in Larson, and I have the scars to prove it.

While I cannot say I have put in any time as an executive board member, I hardly think they have endured the same treatment or responsibilities as the dedicated men and women who serve as RAs on this campus.

When I was a Resident Assistant in the Commons, I had a resident get so drunk he urinated in the drawer of his roommate’s desk.

If you talk to any RA he or she has a similar story because they deal with stuff like this all the time. There is just no comparison for this on the student government level. I have been in the SGA office many a time, and not once have I witnessed anyone urinating in any desks.

I guess the moral of the story here is if you’re strapped cash next semester you might want to rethink becoming an RA and run for student government instead. All you need is a pretty smile, some empty promises and a catchy slogan like, “Vote Smith: I’m pretty, I drive a nice car, and I’m from Long Island, just like you.”

Or maybe this one, “Vote for me and I won’t pee in your desk.”