Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

December 9, 2023

From the Editor's Desk: SGA, a new perspective

Recently the Augustana Observer made the decision to pair up with the Student Government Association (SGA) for a Symposium Day session.
Hopefully we provided an informative and open discussion that gave the campus community better insight into each of our organizations.
We understand that we are often only seen in opposition to one another. It may seem odd that the publication that is often pushing for SGA to answer tough questions invited them onstage for a forum. It’s not as odd as you may presume. We see campus from similar perspectives, which is what Symposium Day is all about this year.
Our mission is the same: to serve campus. That duty often comes with a lot of decisions that are not often celebrated. In fact they are frequently argued over, but sometimes praised. There is a distance that occurs between our student body and us, but the wall that remains is necessary for a fruitful society, and in our case, campus.
However, we have a greater understanding and appreciation for each other than most would conclude, and this year, we commend SGA on their willingness to be transparent with the Observer. We often make decisions that affect this campus, whether the student body believes them to be negative or positive is their own opinion.
We proposed such a session to promote both our similarities and differences. Both of our organizations have primary leaders, a set of executive staff, and a large amount of responsibility. Yet, we are often keeping watch over the other. It’s a relationship that spans much farther than our campus boundaries.
There’s an unspoken respect necessary for us to communicate with and investigate circumstances surrounding SGA. The delicate balance often struck between is often challenged from one side or the other. It’s not a relationship the administration is unfamiliar with either.
Frequent correspondence has brought both the Observer and SGA closer this term. Our understanding of each other’s goals and intentions is clear.
What may seem like rash decisions are typically long thoughtful processes behind closed doors. The only reason for closed doors is to address issues that have greater impact, which requires us to step away, and use a more logical process.
No matter how much we want to fund a club, or even promote one in the paper, we have to weigh significance. Such power is often accompanied by lofty goals and public mistakes, which are much easier to make when attempting to communicate a mission to such a large amount of people.
Our partnership with SGA for Symposium Day will hopefully allow for the campus to see another side of each of our organizations. We are fellow students, entrusted with institutions (politics and journalism), which require us to use a different, dare we say, perspective, on things.
What may seem like an imbalanced story is actually a lack of response from the best possible sources. A budget cut may be due to higher constraints from the college on student activities due to an influx in clubs, but a stagnation in enrollment numbers. Working together, we both provide a service to the college. That fact cannot be disputed.
However, we urge the campus community to look further than popularity when electing student representatives. Look beyond the flyers and ask questions. Find someone you entrust your tuition dollars with, after all, they are the ones making contributions towards club budgets and other campus-related decisions.
We also urge the campus community to allow for forgiveness when it comes to the expectations of the Observer. We also urge you to challenge us at the same time. We are constantly trying to improve our investigative abilities. We know we have not reached our potential in previous years.
Often, it is forgotten we’re a student publication, and that SGA is a student organization. Both of which have experienced growth in personnel the past few years.
We’re still in the midst of our educational journey. Better we make our mistakes here than anywhere else.

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From the Editor's Desk: SGA, a new perspective