In Defense Of The SGA

As a reminder to people that read my post last night, and informing those that didn’t, this is meant to be a satire about the recent events involving the University of Alabama’s SGA. I’ve gone ahead and sent the column to The Crimson White in hopes that it gets printed, but even if it doesn’t, it’ll be here for your viewing pleasure. Please enjoy.

When I awoke this Monday morning, I found my Twitter all atwitter with talk of the Student Government Association voting down Resolution 33-11, which would have shown that the SGA resolved to ask the University of Alabama administration to release documents related to the resignation of former SGA President Grant Cochran.

I was (not entirely) shocked to discover that the liberal rag known as The Crimson White, led on Twitter by their Chief Copy Editor John “Stalin is my homeboy” Davis, was calling foul in their Our View column, claiming that the SGA needs transparency.

How dare you, Crimson White editorial staff, consider so harmful a solution to the apparent problems in your student government like asking to know what the hell is going on? It is the job of the SGA to govern, not to inform, and it is the job of the student body to ignore most everything the SGA does, never vote and complain when things get hinky. You may claim that your government is corrupt and working in its own interests, and you would of course be right. That’s what government does! To ask them to stop would be to disband the thing entirely, and the UA student body could not survive without a Student Government, especially not if the year were somewhere between 1992 and 1996.

Fortunately, there were some 26 brave young men and women who stood up against the tyranny of attempting to stop corruption. I applaud you, senators, on behalf of the right-thinking, government loving students and alumni everywhere for your bravery in the face of adversity. These people, clamoring for clarity and a working knowledge of the wheelings and dealings of the SGA, are completely unaware of the harm they are asking you to bring to poor, innocent people that may have broken the rules.

Sen. Austin Barranco certainly knows the truth behind what pains the truth can bring. “Essentially what we’re all voting on right here is a slap in the face to someone and in this situation it would be our former president,” Barranco said, according to The CW. “It’s a serious situation that was already handled and we don’t need to make it worse by slapping him in the face and letting the whole student body see what actually happened. There’s no reason to sit here and harp on this mistake and make it public knowledge to everyone else.”

Too true, Barranco, too true. It would be a slap in the face for corrupt politicians to have their corruptions brought to light. I know that former Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford and former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich would agree with you and say that corrupt actions taken by government officials should be kept a secret for no one to know, the same way no one knows how the SGA is actually being useful. And poor President Richard M. Nixon was face-slapped so many times after Watergate, he was never able to smile again, a fate no politician should have to face.

And what benefit would there be to the student body being informed exactly how their government is corrupt? Barranco, again being the sane voice in a troubled time of logical concern from the voting populace, brings up the point of how the knowledge of the corruption would affect new and prospective students. “They definitely won’t benefit from this,” he said. “All they’ll see is that we have a corrupt government system.”

And what better way is there to hide the fact that you have a corrupt government system than to admit it’s corrupt and then hide the details in a shadowy, no concern for the desires of the voters fashion? After all, governments should not be afraid of the people. The people should be afraid of the governments. Keeping secrets about what goes on and what corrupt dealings occur is exactly how the governments achieve that paradigm.

On that point, bravo, too, to the University of Alabama administration, for wisely battening down the hatches and keeping tightly sealed lips when it comes to informing the students about any actions taken to stop corruption and punish rule breaking. The student body should trust the administration implicitly and be grateful that they’re even recognizing anything happened at all. There is no purpose in complaining about wanting to know what, if any, punishments were given to any greek organizations that broke the anti-hazing policy or to members of the SGA, like former President Steven Oliver, that clearly broke voting policy and SGA ethics codes.

The SGA is intended to be a training ground for students to become better potential politicians, and as the UA administration deftly shows, tight lips and secrecy are practically required for anyone in a position of governing power. To burden the common voter with knowledge would be like handing a kid a loaded gun, by which I mean it would be like arming a soldier in a war and giving him a chance to fight back against people trying to shoot him.

So, again, thank you SGA and UA administration for being the stalwart defenders of the government’s power to do whatever the heck it wants without fear of reproach from the voters. Keep functioning like the machine you are: Well-oiled, with several wrenches thrown in to make access to tools easier when it all falls apart.

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