UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

From the Center: Have We Grown?

Has the Student Senate grown in the four weeks since my first article, calling them a joke? Has the senate grown in the two weeks since my second article was published calling them a “sad sorry lot?” Or has the senate remained the same? Has the senate shown any improvement whatsoever?

I can’t see that they have. I cannot for the life of me see the change. Maybe the change is so minute, that the most powerful microscopes and telescopes on Earth can’t even see. Maybe the change is so miniscule that scientists at NASA need to point the Hubble Space telescope inward so that we may be able to view the change in the Student Senate.

I do not believe we have grown. I do not believe we have moved further down the chain of evolution. We are but Neanderthals when we should be Homo Sapiens. We are taking baby steps when we should be taking giant leaps.

And yet we still congratulate ourselves, and we still get congratulations, on having ONE civil meeting. We pat ourselves on the back, for being able to discuss topics without yelling across the tables at each other. We applaud on our ability to get the job done.

But are we getting the job done? At the October 9 senate meeting I was asked by Christopher Garner to tell the senate to do their job. I was unable to speak then, so let me speak on it now. I say to my fellow senators, put aside you petty grievances, your disdain for each other, your agendas, and your contemptuous behavior, and do your job. It is time for us to go to work.

Our job is to be student leaders, not politicians. We are to put what is best for the school ahead of what our own personal interests may be. A leader (a true leader) does not lead to seek glory, or to gain riches or popularity. A leader leads because they are called to lead. A leader is willing to sacrifice everything for the right cause, for reason and for the right idea.

The Student Senate does not lead; it follows. Nowhere among the senators do I see a leader. I see some that would sacrifice for a cause, but are afraid to. I see some who are ready, willing, and able to, but they just need a push in the right direction.

And still I see some that are power hungry, envious, petty, and contemptuous. They do not do their job. They keep the “status quo”. They follow the path of senates before. They are following the paths of least resistance. They never go into the jungles to make new ones. It is time to make our own paths.

My friends, do you know what would give me the greatest pleasure right now? If I could write applauding the senate, if I could write about the good the senate does. It does do some good, but like Julius Caesar, “The evil men do, live after them, the good oft interred with their bones.” So let it be with the Student Senate, they do achieve remarkable things. But those things are all for not if they do not do all good things.

At the past senate meeting, The Asian Center was approved money to do some very altruistic things. And yet at the same meeting, The Philosophy Club asked for less than a tenth of what the Asian Center was approved for, and yet the Philosophy Club’s request was denied. They asked for a computer to replace the dinosaur of a computer they currently have. It was shot down because some senators voiced concerns about setting precedents. It is our job to set precedents. It is our job to be the first to do things. We should be trudging new paths, rather than following those that have gone before.

So let us be the leaders we were meant to be. I know the Student Senate has it in their hearts to be a senate of leaders, and of politicians. We are capable. Some are willing. Those that are not willing, or reluctant towards change, should step down, and let new “torchbearers” carry on, and stride forward on new paths.

Until this end is met, I will not shut up, be silenced, or censored. I speak from my heart, and I speak what is the truth. Though some may disagree, I will not stop. Yes the truth hurts, but silence and lies have a far more reaching hurt than a million could possibly have. A lie promulgates the situation; a truth sets it free.

I will not do what my fellow senators ask of me. I will not stop; I will not prop up the senate in any way, shape or form. That would be masking the truth, hiding the truth, and outright lying and deceiving the readers, and the students.

I was asked what would it take for me not to go through with this article. I answered the questioner with two simple answers, that by noon on Friday, October 25, the senate is completely abolished, or the immediate passing of the Student Ombudsman position. Short of one of those two things being accomplished, my article is going forward.

My fellow senator has been and continues to be afraid of the bad press that the senate may have. He was afraid of public opinion turning against the senate, and hence any initiatives the senate may have would not be looked favorably upon by the student body. He may be good intentioned but I will not give in.

When the Student Senate does show initiative at growth, when the Student Senate takes the giant leaps rather than small baby steps, when we are at the top of the evolutionary chain rather than at the bottom, then I will applaud. Then I will congratulate my fellow senators. Then the truth that I write will not be hurtful. I have said it before, that I love being a senator. Now let me say this. When the Student Senate shows the growth, acts its age, and is a collective group of leaders, not politicians, then I will be Proud to be a Student Senator.