Since 2008, it has seemed that the only thing Student Government and its members, especially those seeking higher office within the organization, have cared about is raising attendance at athletic events, specifically football.
Students voted in 2008 to raise the athletics fee by $10 per semester credit hour in $2 per year increments over five years, making it clear that students care about their teams. Currently, students pay $20 per credit hour for athletics.
However, the Texas State football team is ranked 10th of 11 teams in the Sunbelt Conference and ended their fall 2015 season 3-9, hardly news-worthy.
So why then, has raising attendance been so important to candidates running for Student Government president and vice president? Nearly every candidate, for president and vice president alike, has made it a point to raise attendance at athletic events.
Presidential candidate Andrew Homann and Vice Presidential candidate Samantha Martinez both mentioned in their Q&As with The University Star that they wanted to focus on raising attendance at athletic events and boost student involvement with campus traditions.
The bright idea of raising attendance at athletic events is tired and worn out. Student Government presidents receive a red parking pass and an annual salary of $11,556, so they should be doing something better with their time like creating impactful legislation to mirror the concerns of the student body.
Current Student Body President Lauren Stotler ran in last year’s election with her main platform being to increase attendance at sporting events, because apparently that is what is most disconcerting for Bobcats.
“If we put in the hard work, I’m confident we can raise numbers (at games),” Stotler said in a Feb. 12, 2015 University Star article.
She said that starting committees to help bring attention to the athletics department is key to success.
Stotler also planned to keep the Gold Rush Initiative, started in 2014 by her predecessors, going into her presidency. The Gold Rush Initiative is a way to bring students to athletic events through themed games. Dressing in all gold or maroon is a theme students could see as part of the initiative.
But there was no committee, or no themed game. So that whole idea didn’t really pan out.
Even before her time as our illustrious student body president, Stotler was making waves as Student Government’s Director of Finance. Her claim to fame, at least according to the Student Government website, was drafting a bill to appropriate the funds for organization Polos.
In the bill, Stotler states that Student Government “would like to look uniform and identifiable at its programs and around campus in general.” Unsurprisingly, the bill passed and Student Government spent $733.48 on shirts.
As for Tyler Burton, student body vice president, he is barely even worth mentioning. Burton did next to nothing this entire academic school year, effectively illustrating why Student Government is nearly invisible on campus.
Per year, only 2 and 3 percent of the student body votes in Student Government elections. In 2013, 3.3 percent of all enrolled students at Texas State voted in the election and in 2014, only 2.9 percent cast a ballot.
If Student Government took a stance on controversial topics like same-sex marriage, campus carry or confederate markers on campus, they might be able to get more than 20 or 30 people to attend their meetings. If they are going to proclaim to be representatives of the student body, then perhaps they should come up with a better platform than raising attendance at a game, which although fun and important, is not vital to the college experience.
But hey, don’t listen to me, decide for yourself: here’s a list of Student Government’s accomplishments over the years.