Post Classifieds

Secrets are no fun, still exist though

By Sam Monroe
On March 10, 2011


The Student Government Association doesn't allow students to know how much money there is to be divided up between the clubs before the budgets are passed.

Students are also not allowed to know the actual numbers in secret ballot votes.

Those are the facts.

Anytime the SGA president uses the words "completely hidden," to describe something, it indicates a secret. Those are the exact words he used to describe the ‘magic number'.

We are also told that the clubs have a say in their budgets. However, club reps were not allowed to speak at the finance committee meetings or answer questions; questions that could have easily been answered by thoroughly reading the budget packets.

I understand these meetings were all "open meetings," but how open are meetings that club reps are discouraged from attending and no one can speak or answer questions that would be easily answered?

Vote totals are not recorded in the minutes of the SGA meeting. We are told that these numbers are kept secret because they are by secret ballot votes. Well, correct me if I am wrong, but lots of votes in our country are by secret ballot, and we are allowed to know the vote totals of those elections.

How absurd would it be if the government just told us that Obama had won his election, but gave no numbers or margin of victory? What if we were told Congress passed a budget, but couldn't know by how much or how much money they needed to cut?

Currently the numbers are counted by a few members of the executive board and tossed out. Shouldn't these numbers be recorded on big topics, such as impeachment, just in case of a dispute? Having the numbers would not only make the SGA more transparent, but it would also help protect the executive board if anyone ever attempted to dispute the results.

A vote is secret so you don't know who or what I voted for, not so the numbers can be withheld.

Yes, the SGA did release the vote totals and the ‘magic number' as they point out in their letter, printed on page four. However, they released the numbers after the process was finished.

The argument behind hiding the number is that reps will make cuts just to make cuts. Are we really that childish? I would like to hope that students could look objectively at a budget and decide what is more important to the school.

The argument that releasing one vote total makes last weeks page one article "Secrecy in the SGA" irrelevant, is in fact irrelevant. If that were true, then after the numbers for last November's special election were released, the vote totals would have been released from then on; they have not been.

The reporter for this story is not accusing anyone of being secretive, nor is she trying to stir the pot. The Critic is simply reporting the facts.

The Student Government Association has never asked a non-representative student or a reporter to leave any meeting for regular business or the finance committee.

Nor has The Critic reported that such an action occurred.


I commend the SGA executive board for trying to be more transparent; however, releasing the numbers of two votes (five months apart) is not setting a precedent.

Nothing The Critic does has any affect on whether the students lose faith in the SGA; the SGA has all the control over that. We print the truth, and if that isn't good for the organizations we report on, maybe a change is in order. 

To see more letters to the editor pick up a copy of The Critic on campus. 

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