EDITORIAL: Administration shouldn’t have spoken for student body

April 12, 2013 Editorial Cartoon

Herald Staff

THE ISSUE: After the Student Government Association Judicial Council disqualified president-elect Keyana Boka for using electronic mail for self-promotion during the election, vice president for Student Affairs Howard Bailey reinstated her.  

OUR STANCE: Bailey is an administrator and should not be making final calls for student-run organizations.

Surely by now we realize that it is wrong to assume that there are only two sides to every issue.

In the case of the recent chaos surrounding this year’s SGA executive vice president and current president-elect Boka, there are definitely at least two sides to the issue.

Before the election was over on April 2, the Judicial Council disqualified Boka. Then on April 3, the Council held another meeting, which Boka was able to attend and explain herself. After that meeting, they changed their original ruling of disqualification. After Administrative Vice President Cain Alvey, also a presidential candidate, said that neither of those meetings was in accordance with Kentucky’s Open Meetings law, the Council held a public meeting on April 8. In that meeting, they disqualified Boka again. That was their final opinion.

On April 9, Bailey sent a memorandum to SGA declaring that Boka would be president.

Consider this one more side to the story.

Whether Bailey’s decision was right or wrong is not the concern. Whether the SGA’s decision was right or wrong is not the concern. The concern is that a university administrator stepped in to make a decision for an organization with “student” in its name. An organization that is supposed to be of the students, by the students and for the students.

SGA’s website states that it “believes that each student has a vital opinion and voice, and the organization is fully committed to serving these students.” If the student body disagrees with the organization’s decision — whatever that decision may be — the student body should be the one to speak up and work to change something it sees as unjust.

Judging by the hoard of students who attended Tuesday night’s meeting at which SGA announced Boka’s reinstatement as president-elect, the student body was attempting to make sure its voice was heard.

Even if the administration thought students were getting their feelings hurt or that students’ conduct was immature or unbecoming of a Hilltopper, it was not the administration’s role to step in like a concerned parent between two feuding children.

Furthermore, if the administration truly does believe that it has helped mold its students into the kind of adults they should be, then the administration would have known that the students — from whichever side — would ultimately make the call they thought was best.

The students were doing exactly what they should have been doing Tuesday night: getting involved in campus politics and speaking out when they have a grievance against their government. Had Bailey/WKU’s administration not stepped in, perhaps the students’ voices might have succeeded in carrying out their mission.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 11-member editorial board.