Monday, October 08, 2007

Student Governance

My experience in student government seems analogous to my first year of law school: long hours, a lot of stress, intense bonding with the people you spend so many hours with, and a learning experience about yourself, others, and the world in general. In short, both are experiences that were great and you are glad that you did them, but that you would not want to do again.

This week the law school has been abuzz with student government relations. There is a proposal for a study abroad program in Israel, a counter resolution against the program saying it violates the school's non-discrimination policy because Israel discriminates, a mass email by the President, accusations of accusations, diatribes on the student senate virtual message board, people screaming anti-semitism, censure motions against the President, etc, etc.

This brings back the not-so-fond memories of student government. During my time, the Muslim Student Association brought in a speaker that the Jewish Student Union said was a holocaust denier. There was a resolution. Immediately after my term, someone proposed a resolution condemning Israel for invading Lebanon. Another resolution, which was debated for 5+ hours in a tiny room with 100+ people waving Lebanon, Israeli, and Palestinian flags. Oh non-binding resolutions; how much grief you caused.

I know that these issues are important, but I am not personally as invested, nor do I know as much as I want, to really engage in these "dialogues" (I use the term lightly since people talk more than they listen). Moreover, I usually am ambivalent to these kind of issues because they usually have devolved so much that the discussion is no longer about issues that a student government should be working on.

Do not get me wrong, I think student government has the opportunity to do really great work and I really respect the people who invest so much time into doing so. However, there are times like this when I am so glad that I am not part of it anymore.

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