Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Voices

The Purpose of a Reformed StuComm

The office that was previously used by StuComm is now home to the Office of Student Involvement. (Mallika Mitra / The Index)

There are a lot of narratives surrounding the causes of death for Student Commission- all of which are dependent on who you ask- but they all have a common theme: inefficiency.

Student Commission did too much, and what they did wasn’t done well.

Thus, when StuComm dissolved, the problem of who would take over their duties was solved rather quickly, and quite effectively.

The former StuComm duties have been thoroughly spread to other organizations: Office of Student Involvement handles the small number of activities and the Funding Board handles student organization budgeting.

It’s pretty clear that a redefined student commission, in order to be a well-functioning organization, should have one primary job that it can do well, and perform a unique function that isn’t covered by another group on campus.

The one thing that a student government can do that other groups can’t is maintain a presence within the faculty governance structure. This allows students to comment on potentially problematic campus policies before they are implemented, and is a key method for students to have their voices heard.

This is being taken care of by an interim body, which is a makeshift government structure that should be refined and developed into a proper student government.

So, when I get the question of whether we really need a student government for this campus to function, you’re asking the wrong question.

Campus life wouldn’t fall apart if we didn’t have one, but we’d also be giving up an opportunity to make life here better.

A student government would create an avenue for the whole body to solve the smaller problems that are experienced on a daily basis. Even the small suggestions made during committee sessions can have a sizeable impact on people.

Used properly, it would also give campus activists a more direct path to solve widespread issues.

So yes, it would be beneficial to create a student government, but we do not need it to fulfil all the duties that it used to. This will create a functional group that can really advocate for students on the things that matter to them.

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The Purpose of a Reformed StuComm