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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

1/30/03 Letter: Response to Former Senator Babbitt

Dear Editor,

I admire former senator Babbitt in trying to gather the interests and voices of our fellow students. However, without any disrespect to the former senator, Babbitt rendered himself ineffective when he decided to resign. It disappoints me that he cannot take responsibility for his decision to quit, and lays that blame on the Student Senate. I have been on the Student Senate for almost two years now, and although change has been slow, I remain optimistic. I see my fellow colleagues on the senate reaching out to students in methods better and more effective this year than last. I have a strong belief that my colleagues and I work in the best interests of the student body.

Senator Babbitt’s failure to elaborate on personal agendas of individual senators do more harm than good to the many senators who ARE working hard–working hard for students and balancing his and her own academic and personal schedule. True, there are personal agendas, but maximizing one’s personal agenda does not eliminate altruism. Let me reveal to you MY personal agenda. My personal agenda is to obtain the results of teacher evaluations that students labor over at the end of every semester and make some direct use of them to students; let’s get those results, publish them and improve teaching on this campus. My personal agenda is to eliminate the usage of student Social Security numbers as student identification numbers. My personal agenda above all is to help make everyone’s experience a better experience. Surely, my personal agenda just revealed does not benefit just one individual.

Senator Babbitt’s fallacious implication of a senate being issue driven is again representative of what is bad, and not what is good. The Student Senate IS a policy and issue body. On the surface, I think it is more apparent to the general public that we do distribute many funds to support wonderful activities, but behind this “treasury” duty–a task of which we are constitutionally obligated to perform–we MUST focus on ISSUES and POLICIES important to students. In fact, I would like the Student Senate and myself to focus more on issues and policies.

Change can be slow. Last semester was an educational one for the Student Senate and its new members. I think we dealt with some irrational activities regarding the ombudsman that unnecessarily consumed a lot of our time.

I wish former Senator Babbitt and his partner the best of success in their altruistic endeavors. I do hope that with their free time they can share their results with the Student Governing Body. And I sincerely do hope that he finds some time to join us and be a part of our team once again.

I ask all students to please approach members of the Student Senate and tell us what is important to you. Innovation is important in any society, including ours, but sometimes help is needed.

Tuam PhamVice President, UMB Student Senate