Statement prepared by the PR & Communications Committee and on behalf of the Student Government Association
Dear AUI students,
In the past two days, two unacceptable precedents were set:
1- The Eat & Meet event, which occurred yesterday without coordination with either the SGA nor the SLC. This resulted in the cancellation of a previously planned event at the venue, and a complete decredibilization of SGA and SLC’s authority to manage events pertaining to student engagement and student representation.
We understand that the event was done in good faith, in an attempt to communicate with students directly. Nonetheless, the good intention does not excuse the consequences: SGA events (Town Hall), existing platforms (Complaint Platform), and ongoing projects (RAs, Health Center, Vans, Website…etc) were completely disregarded and taken over. While some may believe these to have been easily achievable goals, we can assure you that they have necessitated hard work through multiple mandates, motivated only by our sense of duty towards the community.
For such a blatant undermining of SGA as a representative body to occur, while SGA senators are working hard to re-establish, maintain SGA credibility, and serve the student community’s interests, is not acceptable no matter the intention. The result remains that the event was held with the exclusion of said-bodies, when they could have easily been contacted, had their contributions acknowledged, and their sphere of influence respected.
2- Again, today, without so much as informing either SGA nor SLC, the SAO lounge has been closed for renovation. This was done, with the knowledge that not only is it the responsibility of these organizations to manage and plan student activities in the venue but also that both of these organizations actively contributed to the planning of the project of Student’ Spaces Renovation. This, once again, explicitly oversteps the SGA and SLC responsibilities and undermines their authority, through making their planning and their word void of any credibility.
While we are fully supportive and grateful for the work that is done in the context of the Strategic Vision 2020-2025, there is no denying that we have been excluded from it this semester, and through us so has been student perspective and participation to decision-making.
Let it be clear: we do not believe the overstepping of the only existing bodies of student representation to be a sustainable approach and thus do not condone such behaviors.
The reason we have decided to come forward with this statement to ensure the collective understanding of our standpoint by the student community. Particularly since at yesterday’s meeting, we felt that it was not made clear when the intention behind our criticism was questioned and vilified.
– Student Government Association