Last week, The Collegian Editorial Board opposed South Dakota House Bill 1073.This week, South Dakota State University Students’ Association passed Resolution 17-12-R with a 20-7 vote opposing the same bill.
Except there’s an issue with this.
The Collegian Editorial Board can freely take a stance on issues without consulting the student body.
Students’ Association can not.
The sponsors of the resolution wanted to pass it quickly to have a chance to lobby against HB1073 at the South Dakota House Judiciary Committee on Friday. But the resolution was added to the agenda at the beginning of the meeting — before most senators could be educated and form an opinion to debate it properly.
What’s worse is in the meeting agenda sent with “The Rabbit Report” Monday morning, the resolution wasn’t included, so students were unaware and didn’t have a chance to voice their opinions to their senator.
While there were good intentions with this resolution, the presentation was poorly executed and hurt SA’s senator-student transparency. This resolution is too important to slide onto the agenda last minute.
HB1073 concerns the protection of free speech on college campuses, something that affects all students, who should have an opportunity to weigh in and consider.
We agree with what Sen. Irakoze Naftari said, “You have to listen to those people you serve before you move forward.”
Even Sen. Ryan Sailors, who had researched HB1073 on his own, agreed that more time to get informed and talk with constituents would have been beneficial for senators.
When multiple senators in a meeting speak up and agree they don’t have enough information to vote on a resolution, it should be postponed definitely.
Overall, the sudden presentation of this resolution undermines SA’s transparency to students and raises concerns from The Collegian,Editorial Board.
If SA isn’t being transparent with its student body,or its own body, and actively seeking to represent the students to the best of their ability, then it becomes an issue of integrity.
We applaud the senators who spoke up about wanting to consult their constituents before voting and the senators who moved to postpone the resolution.
The Editorial Board urges all SA senators to always keep in mind that it is their responsibility to put student voices first.
Stance: SA senators should always be transparent with constituents and communicate with them before voting.
The Collegian Editorial Board meets weekly and agrees on the issue of the editorial. The editorial represents the opinion of The Collegian.