The most recent debate is in response to Resolution 2013-01 that the Student Senate passed last Tuesday evening, with a vote of 12 yea’s, 7 abstaining, and 2 nays, which reads that “the Student Senate stands firmly with President of Wabash College Dr. Gregory Hess…in [his] opposition to HJR-6.” Many Senate members feel that it is not the Student Senate’s place to take a stance for or against President Hess’ decision because it is not a fair representation of the student body.
Frankly, this is horse crap. Luckily, here’s a blog to explain why.
As elected members, every individual is in the Student Senate to fulfill one of two purposes:
- To automatically act as an extension of his constituents (class or living unit), or
- To make independent decisions and act as said constituents have trusted him to act.
The members of a constituency will never come to a 100% consensus on an issue; this is not a matter of debate, and I don’t think any member of the Senate believes that everyone can be pleased at once. That’s politics, and that’s life. But if our constituents will never fully agree, then they can never be fully represented. Therefore, representation in hopes of a reflection of one’s constituency that is 100% accurate is impossible. The goal is to represent your constituency in the best way possible.
Here’s where my gears start to grind. Abstaining from a vote, because one does not know how to BEST represent his constituency leaves his constituents WITHOUT ANY REPRESENTATION AT ALL. It’s like saying that whatever class or living unit he represents just couldn’t care less, and that’s glaringly false.
The solution to 100% accurate representation (impossible) vs. no representation at all is the middle ground in which senators, who have been chosen to think critically in their decisions, reflect on their constituency, and then make the decision they believe is best. Sometimes this may mean going against what the majority of a living unit thinks. As the senator representing Phi Delta Theta, I believe that my brothers trust me to make good decisions; they did not elect me to be a pawn, they elected me because they trust my decisions as a senator. It is my FIRM belief that the Student Senate (elected for the sole purpose of best representing the student body) has the full authority to make a statement on behalf of that student body supporting President Hess, even though not every student does. And I would vote “yea” a hundred times more doing so again.
Hopefully this was a little better than a childish email,