Elected hopefuls promised full transparency, but is that really what the student body wants?


Amanda Hsu

OVER-COMMUNICATION? OR UNDER WRAPS? There are a number of ways for Elected / Selected groups to engage with the student body, but that’s a two person process. If students want transparency from student groups, they need to actively communicate their feedback. On the other side, student groups should respond with concrete changes.

After the hustle and bustle of class election season, many elected officers and representatives settle into their new roles. Their campaigns included promises to increase transparency with the student body at large. Transparency has long been an issue in elected student groups, with the majority of students unaware of what goes on behind the scenes. Visibility in student-elected groups is important because these committees were designed to act as a bridge between students and administration.

Many students can relate to the experience of being unsure of what exactly elected groups do for the student community, especially in previous years. Improving this relationship through transparency is very important because elected officers and reps are meant to represent the student body as a whole. That type of representation isn’t possible when all individuals aren’t informed of the decision-making process.

On the flip side, especially during the candidates’ speeches, the constant bombardment and use of transparency to “one-up” each other’s proposals was overwhelming. While one can understand that campaigns sometimes need to sound excessive and over-the-top to capture the audience’s attention (and votes) the promises of weekly and daily emails elicited annoyance and wariness.

Students expressed their annoyance at the thought of getting so many unnecessary reports

How much transparency is too much?

While listening to and reading all the speeches and campaign goals of USC, SAC, and STC candidates, students expressed their annoyance at the thought of getting so many unnecessary reports relaying a student group’s every move.

So how far should a student committee go to ensure the school community is informed of their actions? Are daily emails necessary to have full transparency?

While emails may be good way to reach the student body at times, compiling necessary updates from Elected/Selected groups and attaching them along with the weekly student newsletter could be another solution. This would allow any urgent notifications to be conveyed to students without unnecessary filling of inboxes.

Monthly updates on committee boards could also be another less intrusive solution that allows anyone walking by to see the progress those groups have made.
Short updates about key information in assemblies could also allow students to stay informed and knowledgeable.

Students who don’t participate in elected or selected groups should also do their part to actively seek out information and communicate feedback to officers or representatives if they truly want to know what’s going on and be part of the voice the groups represent.