As a retired Army veteran, I would like to share that I hold various memberships in military organizations to advocate on my behalf. Sometimes the expense for that advocacy can be pricey and not as useful as I desire. However, without it, I am left with no voice and no representation of my concerns.
Recently the University of South Dakota Student Government Association drafted a bill to withdraw from the South Dakota Student Federation tentatively. As a graduate student, I have some concerns about this path. On the one hand, USD provides more than its fair share of funding and proxy of equal voting. Another issue is the poor use of funds by the Student Federation. On the other hand leaving the association reduces our vocal and visual footprint. Perhaps the remedy is simple. Public opinion and perception may be in our favor if we can persuade South Dakota State University to join our fight. I would suggest our first step requesting an independent audit of the South Dakota Student Federation by Steve Barnett; South Dakota State Auditor. This will allow the Student Federation to justify its expenses. After all, shouldn’t student government be a diplomatic extension of government to advocate for all students and its extended communities? I implore student government to act and perform in strategic resolve and legislative advocacy with the State of South Dakota to press the issues. Utilize its resources and take control of a situation instead of passing the problem on to other universities. Our student population is robust enough to warrant a call to action instead of displaying a white flag out of desperation or antagonism.
Before our student government hastily closes the door on an issue. Shouldn’t we be opening other doors to find a reasonable solution? Once we accomplish this then will the state take notice and appreciate that our University is not a liability but an asset of transparency for the future of South Dakota.