Published: Sunday, February 10, 2013
Updated: Sunday, February 10, 2013 15:02
Yesterday’s elections for positions on the Tufts Community Union (TCU) Senate, the Judiciary, and the CSL took place during a period in which these groups have reminded the student body of their relevance in dealing with campus-wide issues, including the debate over Tufts Christian Fellowship’s leadership qualifications.
The student-elected bodies, which had before been considered by some to produce resolutions that had little direct effect on student life, have shown their value as organizations by mediating the debate over the TCF, as is their purpose, engaging the students on an issue many consider deeply important.
The fact that this has happened does not preclude or lessen a need for students to pay attention to the goings-on of these bodies, but rather suggests a call to attention, to hold these elected officials wholly accountable.
Though many find that the internal deliberations of the Senate, Judiciary, and other leadership bodies are perhaps too mundane and opaque to do much good, they are faced today with the as-yet unresolved problem of the debate over TCF, which legitimizes their powers. The election yesterday of new candidates to the Judiciary, the Senate and the CSL offers a reaffirmation of the responsibilities now bestowed upon these newly elected members of the student government. These are the people whom the student body has elected to defend and apply the values of our university to issues near and far to their attention, and in that spirit the students must also be willing to engage these bodies to see something be done.
In that vein, the operations of these elected bodies should be kept transparent, which comes down to an issue of accountability. The new group of officials — as well as old — should remember that their positions are elected, and hence beholden to the will of those who voted them into their positions. Students have a similar responsibility, in turn, to hold our officials accountable. It can be easier to malign believed laziness or ineffectiveness on the part of the Senate or Judiciary or CSL, but it is far better to remember that the students have a role to play in making our TCU work.
At the end of the day, the election offers a moment to reflect on the importance of our elected bodies and their relationships with the student body. It is with the participation of the students in our student government that things work most smoothly and effectively.