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Op-Ed: SGA, Come Back with My Wallet

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Elections are today and tomorrow. Vote here.

(Editor’s Note: This is an op-ed by a guest writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Skidmore Unofficial or any of us who officially write for the site. One would think this would be pretty obvious, but we wanted to avoid any confusion or mislaid anger.)

Joshua Nelson, the Director of Student Activities, once told me that our SGA is one of the most independent and powerful student governments in the country. But what does SGA do? No, really, what does it do? Well, it keeps clubs waiting for exorbitant amounts of time to speak to Senate; it tells clubs how much money they can have; it plans major college events; it hosts uncontested elections; and, finally, it tells us to vote in these uncontested elections.

If we were to do an approval poll of SGA, we may see it end up with a higher approval rating than Congress, but only because no one knows what it is they should disapprove of. Well, it’s time to change that.

So what does SGA do? It spends our money—lots of our money. It spends more money than the gross domestic product of Tuvalu. Look it up.

That might be a little bit of a stretch, but, to put its budget in perspective, SGA could pay for you to go to four years of college at Skidmore and still have some money left over at the end of the year. What’s more, SGA had access to $150,000 that went untouched for years. SGA finally tapped into this money last year to fund, of all things, renovations to Falstaff’s. And where did this money come from you ask? Your tuition. Did you know that?

The fact that SGA has access to large sums of money is not a bad thing. If anything, it’s good—most student governments lack the capacity to fund student endeavors in the way ours can.

So why am I so caught up on this? Well for one thing, the reason I have to make these ridiculous comparisons about money is because SGA doesn’t publish how much money it has or what it spends that money on (at least not in any obvious spot). But we shouldn’t have to look—SGA should tell us. (Imagine if the U.S. Congress passed a budget but didn’t let anyone know what it was spent on!) We should get communications from Addison about what the budget is spent on, what initiatives SGA is passing, and how we can get involved.

In the late sixties and seventies (according to ancient Skidmore folklore), the student body revolted and campaigned hard enough against the administration that SGA—with its massive budget, its extensive constitution, and its remarkable independence from the administration—was created. As members of this community it is our obligation to live up to what our foremothers did for us.

Elections need to be contested. This first has to be done by SGA’s website actually explaining what positions do. (Similarly, Addison’s email with explanations did not seem to help too much either. I overheard some freshmen the other day saying how they were running for SGA but that they didn’t have a platform since they couldn’t figure out what people in the position did. Go onto Skids Scribner’s Facebook page and look at the campaign videos, they say nothing). SGA also needs to reduce the amount of the positions. It is more important to have every race for Senate, VP, and President contested than for everyone to get a position. (If there are fewer positions, hopefully people will actually have to run for them!) Even in contested elections, like for President, there’s not much contest when you look at the votes. Addison Bennett and Sam Harris are reminiscent of Medvedev and Putin during the short time Medvedev ruled Russia. It is like the position was simply handed down to the former president’s protégé.

However, the goal of this article is not to hate on Sam, Addison, or anyone in SGA. Most of them (especially the two named above) work hard and give up a lot of time to be on SGA, but we as a student body need to get involved and SGA needs to change in order to help us get involved. It needs to address real issues and fix them in real ways; it needs to run on meaningful platforms; and it needs to give us a voice with which to actually work with the administration. For our part, we need to use that voice once it is given.

Our SGA can be one of the best in the country; let’s make that happen.

– Thaddeus Kosciuszko

ROCK THE VOTE: A Student Band Showcase

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Tomorrow (Thursday) night at 8:00 in Falstaff’s (which apparently now has a fully functioning and soon-to-be operating bar), Lively Lucy’s will be hosting their (bi?) annual student band showcase. The showcase has become a consistent hit from Lively Lucy’s, and it’s always a great chance to check out some new and old faces in the Skidmore music scene.

Robin Adams, circa 1986

Robin Adams, circa 1986

Co-sponsored by killers of cool SGA, the showcase will feature a solid array of bands of varying styles and seniority. There will also be an opportunity to vote for SGA representatives and free Esperanto’s, which sounds like the ideal Thirsty Thursday to me. Be sure to stop by and check out what will (hopefully) be pretty short and sweet sets from the following bands:

The Salmon Of Knowledge
Big Booty Judy (now featuring Izzy Howard on vocals)
Dope Mosely
Good Neighbor
Iguana Mañana
Knights of Tundra (listed as a Dragonforce cover band, which is probably a joke, but a dude can hope, right?)
Eskimo Sister
The Melon Girls

If you’re new to Skidmore, this will be a great introduction to the music scene–one of the hidden and underrated aspects of campus life. And if you’ve been around for a while, odds are you know someone in one of these bands, so avoid getting a mass text from them at 8:05 and just show up and stay for the whole thing, because you definitely don’t have better things to do (and late night has been majorly sucking lately).

On the real, though, we lost some good bands to the real world this past year, and it’s really cool that new and old bands are stepping up and showcasing their shit, because these bands work fucking hard. So show up at 8:00pm with some friends and ready to sing to Red Hot Chili Peppers or Sublime, because you know someone will probably cover one (or both) of them.

Club Showcase Tonight in Zankel

Saturday, September 6th, 2014

You know the deal. Kind of. The annual Club Showcase is tonight at 5pm and 8pm. This event is the newest manifestation of Freshman Showcase, which was when has previously been when every freshman crowded into the JKB, all the performance clubs would do something impressive for a couple minutes, the Banderstatchers would perform that one song, and, most notably, members of SGA would moonlight as emcees and make some cripplingly painful puns about whatever club was about to perform.

This year is a little different, however, as they’re not only moving the event to the more performance friendly Ladd Concert Hall in Zankel, but the event is now officially open to all students. But odds are pretty high that the Banders will still be performing that one song.

Club showcase will look nothing like this.

Club showcase will look nothing like this.

There are two shows, one at 5pm and one at 8pm. Freshmen will get priority tickets from their Peer Mentors, but at some point the rest of the community will be able to get in and watch the show. Most of the clubs are desperate for people to audition, so you know the clubs will only show their best shit, so if you’re going to get your fill of acapella or comedy or whatever else qualifies as “performance” these days, this is your best bet. At the very least, you’ll have some legitimate grounds to shit on these clubs once you start getting blasted with invites to their Facebook events.

Today Is Election Day,Vote or Die

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Do what Diddy says to do.

Do what Diddy says to do.

One of the best things about going to college—besides the fact that you’re surround by friends and coffee 24/7—is student government elections. It’s just like presidential elections, except without the corruption of interest groups, insane amount of campaign spending, and voter suppression. It’s politics at its cleanest and local-est.

Today marks the first round of elections:

President of Senior Class and Interclass Council Chair
Soraya Attia

Student Government Association President
Addison Bennett
Madeleine Kanazawa

Vice President of Student Life
Dorothy Parsons

Vice President for Club Affiars
Megan Schachter

Vice President for Academic Affairs
Charles Tetelman

Vice President for Financial Affairs
Anya (Allison) Hein
Sam Harris

Sophomore Class President
Maddison Plummer
Thabang Mapothoane

Sophomore Class VP
Kengthsagn Louis

Sophomore Class Treasurer
Julia Elstein

Junior Class President
Prince Kwanele Tsabedze

Junior Class VP
Carmen Lin

Senior Class President
Soraya Attia

Article III, Section I, Part E of the Club Affairs Committee Policies and Procedures shall be added to read:
To ensure open membership, clubs may not deny membership to anyone based on: race; ethnicity; sex; gender expression (e.g. Female a capella groups may not deny membership to any member of the Skidmore community who identifies as female solely based on their gender expression) sexuality; religion, spirituality, or lack thereof; nationality or immigrant status; physical or mental ability; body type; language; age; veteran status; marriage status; parental status; ancestry; medical condition. Club leadership, in consultation with the Vice President for Club Affairs and the Office of Leadership Activities, may apply limitations on an individual’s club activity in the interest of avoiding a true safety hazard to club members, coaches, spectators, or any other people or animals on a strictly case-by-case basis. Anyone may initiate an appeal to such a limitation to the SGA Executive Board.

The Integrity Board shall be removed from Article VIII Section 7 and added to Article IX: All-College Committees and shall be read as:
“ Section 1. The Integrity Board (IB) The Integrity Board (IB) is an established All-College Committee. The IB adjudicates cases of academic and social violations. The IB is composed of one or two faculty drawn from a pool of six faculty members appointed by FEC to serve overlapping two-year terms, three students (drawn from a pool of 10 students appointed through the Willingness-to-Serve process), the Chair (drawn from a pool of two student IB Co-Chairs appointed through the Willingness-to-Serve process), and one other member of the college staff (Note: Members of the IB also serve on the Board of Appeals). Students who wish to sit on the IB are strongly encouraged to take the Restorative Justice class headed by the Assistant Dean of Student Life prior to engaging the Willingness-to-Serve process. Those registered in the course shall sit in on the IB meetings an observer and not a speaking/voting member. After completing the course, students can apply to sit on the IB through the Willingness-to-Serve process with or without a recommendation by the instructor of the Restorative Justice course. Students chair all IB hearings. In academic integrity cases, a hearing requires two faculty members, four students, including the chair, and one staff member, and the Dean of Student Affairs serves as Judicial Counsel. In social integrity cases, a hearing requires one faculty member, four students, including the chair, and one staff member, and the Associate Dean of Student Affairs serves as Judicial Counsel.”

So Skidmore, be active. Care about your community. And vote today. You can even do it from the comfort of your window seat, or if you’re a senior, from DAs.

VOTE HERE: https://www.skidmore.edu/student/voting/

 

SGA Town Hall Meeting 11/6

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
Dapper as fuck. And a little creepy.

Dapper as fuck. And a little creepy.

If you’re at all interested in putting faces to the names of people responsible for governing the school, check out SGA’s November Town Hall Meeting in the Spa this Wednesday.  There’s milk and cookies courtesy of the Plum Dandy spinoff, Milk and Cookies, and you’ll have a chance to voice your concerns about student government policies and general campus happenings.  Personally, I’m still waiting for a 24-hour library and a renovated Falstaff”s* but hey, that’s just me.

Go complain to Sam Harris about your wildest musings and analyze how the best of us handle stress.

(fbook)

Click to continue »

Skidmore Unofficial Endorses Sophomore for SGA Prez: Because Why Not?

Wednesday, March 27th, 2013
HOPE

HOPE

Unlike most other highly rated networks, we at Skidmore Unofficial try not to compromise our principles. We’re dedicated to bringing you the most unbiased, informative, and factually rigorous news in Saratoga Springs, and that’s why we don’t cover SGA elections. While The Skidmore News stoops to levels below degradation in its constant, pathetic quest to boost ratings and pageviews, we try to rise above it all. We stay away from student politics because student politics are fucking stupid.

UNTIL TODAY.

Skidmore Unofficial is proud to announce our support for Sam Harris ’15 as SGA president. Sam is currently the VP for club affairs, and against all odds, he has decided to run for president as a sophomore. I can say with complete sincerity that this young man is going to change the way you think about student government.

This is the story of America, the story of Barack Obama and the Castro brothers, and dozens of other idealists who have fought tooth and nail against the established order (see: incumbent and physical embodiment of evil, Matt Walsh ’13). This young man has a vision, and he’s going to shove it down your fucking throat whether you like it or not.

What’s Sam’s goal, you ask? Well, it’s “to create conduits for student initiated change.”

And how does he plan on doing that?

To increase civic engagement by holding students to higher
standards, igniting the drive for leadership, and ultimately
strengthening the voice of individuals, SGA, and the student body as a
whole.

You are witnessing the rebirth of democracy, folks. When you go to the polls tomorrow, vote Harris. He’s making SGA more interesting just by being there (feel free to use that as your campaign slogan, Sam).

SGA Elections: Round II (FIGHT!!!)

Monday, March 25th, 2013

The hellsteed itself

Skids Scribner—the equine motherfucker who haunts your nightmares—has informed me that Speech Night for Round II of SGA elections will take place on Wednesday night, where he’ll spring for unlimited pizza and snacks. Maybe this fucknose ain’t so bad after all.

Voting is important or something, so after Speech Night, be sure to check your email for a ballot. “Polls” will be open until 11:59pm on Thursday night, and voting booths will be placed in Atrium and the SGA desk in Case.

SPEECH NIGHT: Wednesday March 27, 6pm @ D-Hall (second floor)

(via Facebook)

SGA Website Hacked

Monday, January 28th, 2013

This hack could also double as a Diablo-centered Angelfire site circa 1998.

This weekend, the SGA website—a very important online resource that all Skidmore students and members of the greater Saratoga community check regularly—was infiltrated by an (allegedly!) Anonymous-affiliated hacker going by the name of Donnazmi. It’s all very exciting!

One can only assume that this attack was part of a calculated effort to retaliate against corrupt, opaque government institutions worldwide. It would seem that President Matt Walsh and the vampiric gangsters that make up SGA have quite a lot to answer for.

FREE JULIAN ASSANGE, etc.

(via SGA)

Sign Up for SGA Elections and Make a “Difference”

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Could be you someday

The country is slogging neck-deep through Silly Season, so this seems to be as good a time as any to plug SGA.

There’s an optional info meeting for Round 1 Elections tomorrow at 6pm in Ladd 307, followed by a mandatory meeting for all candidates on Friday at 5pm. Self-nominations are due at the SGA office on Friday at 4:30pm. If you’ve been staring woefully at the blank space under “Leadership and Activities” on your resume, then this might be your solution.

I myself am running for Northwoods Senator on the long-dormant Occupy Case Walkway ticket. I’m a successful entrepreneur with over thirty years of experience in the private sector, and I’m committed to getting Skidmore back to work!

[Applause] 

Yes, I may be a tireless public servant, but I’m also a churchgoing family man. My loving wife, Babs, and I have taught our three wonderful children, Bucky, Hephzibah, and little Rowley Jr. that traditional values are what first made Skidmore the school it is today. It’s those same values that my own father—a hardscrabble quinoa farmer from the great town of Wilton—taught me as a boy, and it’s those values that will continue to make Skidmore the greatest liberal arts school on the face of the Earth!

[Applause, chants of “SKIDMORE! SKIDMORE! SKIDMORE!”]

Info meeting on Wednesday, September 12 in Ladd 307 @ 6pm
Self-nominations due Friday, September 14 in SGA Office @ 4:30pm
Candidate meeting on Friday, September 14 in Ladd 307 @5pm

Get Paid to Work an Unpaid Internship

Saturday, March 24th, 2012

Uh huh.

Work that summer position that you want while still making ends meet.You can apply for a $2,500 stipend to cover your ass  – that’s dope. And by the by, this opportunity was developed and fought for by a former SGA president who wanted to make change or whatever. Thanks, O Motivated One! But seriously, thanks.

Apply here.  Applications due March 30th, 4:30 PM.

Details in full from El Prez Jono after the jump:

Click to continue »