As it stands now, the majority of Associated Students of CSU senators do not represent the students – they were never elected.
Thirteen elected senators have resigned since the elections last spring – elections in which the students voted for candidates with the understanding and confidence that the representatives would fulfill their designated term of one year. Now only 12 elected senators remain, leaving 14 appointed senators and five unfilled seats.
This brings the question: What’s the point of a democracy when the majority of government officials are appointed?
It is important to point out that the 14 senators who have been appointed to ASCSU have been chosen by senators whom students elected, and we are confident that these appointees were selected as qualified replacements and not on an arbitrary basis. But, the fact remains that the majority of student representation in the Senate is not truly representative.
Many of the resigned senators have reportedly left for “personal reasons.” ASCSU members – just like anyone involved in a campus activity – must face the exhaustive task of juggling classes, work, social life and their campus activity, and this is often overwhelming. But unlike most other students involved on campus, ASCSU senators made a promise to represent their college and its students. Abandoning the constituents who actually took the time to vote in the largely “apathetic” election does nothing to help ASCSU’s image on campus – an image, ironically, it blames on student apathy.
We expect any student who asks his or her peers to elect them as their college’s student representative to recognize and accept the requirements and demands of the job.
When the majority of elected senators, for one reason or another, cannot fulfill their commitment to serve their term, it shatters many students’ already shaky confidence in ASCSU. ASCSU is self-described as “the voice of the students,” but if the current trends of partially served terms, low retention and high resignation continue, CSU students can count on being rendered mute.