EDITORIAL: SGA should focus on student issues, not re-naming historic buildings

Nov. 15, 2011 Editorial Cartoon

Herald Staff

The Issue: WKU’s Student Government Association has consistently acted  as if it holds the blueprints, concepts and keys to Downing University Center issues on campus this semester while barely addressing SGA President Billy Stephens’ original platform promises.

Our Stance: Rather than wasting time on trivial issues, such as unnecessarily discussing changing the name of a building — named for a former WKU president who recently passed away — maybe SGA should focus on its place on campus. It seems as if SGA brought up the name change just because of a “we can do whatever we want” mentality. Former President Dero Downing’s legacy deserves better treatment.

While many SGA members believe changing the name is a great plan, others agree with the Herald that tradition should actually mean something at this school.

Poorvie Patel is one senator who didn’t support the name change. Patel said that DUC is an important tradition at WKU, not only for the students, but for alumni, faculty members and staff as well.

“As a Bowling Green and WKU local, everybody who is anybody knows what and where DUC is,” Patel said.

The Herald fully supports not changing DUC’s name. Since that resolution is over and done with, it’s time to move on to Stephens’ platform. He promised to bring fresh ideas — one of them a “dead” day of classes before finals week. We have yet to hear anything on that matter.

“I also plan on revising and thus improving the current Provide-a-Ride driving service for students on the weekends, in order to make the service more prompt and reliable,” Stephens said in a Herald commentary last spring.

It’s safe to say that there hasn’t been much difference, or any at all, in the Provide-a-Ride service. Since cutting services with Franklin Taxi, Stephens said that he will try his best to establish a Provide-a-Ride program before the end of the semester, but he hopes to do it sooner. The semester is almost over, however, and we haven’t seen changes.

SGA provides $30,000 for Provide-a-Ride, but the program might cost more with a new contract. If that’s the case, SGA would not be able to fund it entirely on its own.

Also, Stephens said he wanted to boost SGA’s public relations on campus saying, “If elected, I aim to increase the visibility of SGA to the student body. I want to enhance our image to the student body and let the students have a clear understanding of what we do as an organization.”

But outside of a the Cage the Elephant Concert, which was co-sponsored with the Campus Activities Board, and loaning out iPads, how much more visible has SGA really become?

Before bickering about a  building name change — one SGA shouldn’t have the  power to make— the organization should focus on promises already made.

This editorial represents the majority opinion of the Herald’s 10-member editorial board.