January 31, 2007

The People's Platform

With all the talk these days about the uselessness of SA, I thought I’d try to throw a constructive proposal out there. Right now, SA is an essentially powerless body that, at its strongest, can urge changes with the (deserved or not) seal of student approval. I don’t expect the college to grant it more legitimate power, and I’m not sure what form that would take anyway (other than a student trustee position, but I wouldn’t want that to go through SA anyway…it would have to be me). However, by actually focusing on serious and important issues of college policy, by demanding specific and practical reforms, SA could at least set the precedent of being effective and seem worth taking seriously.

So, recognizing that SA is often an apolitical holding tank for mildly well-intentioned resume padders incapable of forming its own coherent agenda, why don’t we (the people…by which I mean myself) come up with the ideas?

Here are my top four proposals that should form the people’s platform. People could weigh in on them, add ideas, subtract ideas, student groups could submit there own, and then candidates would pick different combinations of them, and offer different methods of accomplishing this. Eh? Novel, no? (Okay, none of this is about a practical proposal. It’s just what I think is important, and I want to see how other people feel about these issues.)

  1. Sensible Alcohol Policy – Understanding that S&S is a buffer from H-Po still doesn’t justify the level of disciplinary sanctions that follow being picked up. For the non-Greek inclined, much of the frat scene’s strength derives from its monopoly on drunkening – similar spaces with similarly regulated but lax oversight could form party alternatives.
  2. Gender Neutral Housing – First off, we’re all grown ups, it would make things easier, and since all the newer/renovated housing is in the form of suites, it wouldn’t really offend Jesus that much. Second, a space for non-inebriated, relaxed interaction among the opposite sex might foster a little mutual understanding (or do away with the mutual obliviousness that currently exists), and even if it didn’t reign in the frat-party-compartmentalized horniness, it might at least help everyone be a little less awkward.
  3. 24 Hour Library Access – self-explanatory, not a lot to ask from your college.
  4. 24 Hour Food Access – also self-explanatory. Also, a little more freedom from DDS wouldn’t kill anyone.

Also, shameless self-promotion. Check out my review of Dinesh D'Souza's new book "The Enemy at Home," on Campus Progress.

7 comments:

  1. Anonymous7:22 PM

    Someone needs to give SA the People's Elbow.

    Do you smell what the Rock is cooking?

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  2. Seal, would you object to closing one of the current dining halls to make for 24 hour dining? Shutter a Collis to get a 24 hour FoCo?

    I like the idea, myself, but I think it has to be asked because consultants always come in and are shocked DDS can keep as many options up and running as they do.

    Why the heck do those EW kids get their own special little snackbar... I like EW, I applied... but come on, that's just not fair. Shutter it.

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  3. By "Seal," I meant "Niral."

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  4. Anonymous1:17 AM

    You people baffle me. Why the hell do we need 24 hour library access? Can't you people get your work done during the day?

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  5. Towards the beginning of a term, we don't. Starting around week 3, people start having midterms...at that point, more study space would be much appreciated.
    Novack fucking blows, and with the library shut the campus falls pretty short on providing quiet areas to get work done. keeping berry 1st floor open and shutting the stacks would at least be a welcome improvement.

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  6. Anonymous1:09 PM

    Niral Shah, more effective than SA. He gets [tentative] results in 72 hours or less.

    http://www.thedartmouth.com/article.php?aid=2007020201020

    The only problem I see with this is when a girlfriend/boyfriend couple wants to room together and either (1) the parents object and threaten to withhold tuition money or something, or (2) they break up and want to move out.

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  7. tom bonamici9:39 AM

    i've gotta add - my dad's a library administrator, and the cost of adding 24-hour access is truly shocking. it would be nice for the very few of us (myself included) who would use it, but i'd rather see the money go towards improving the library in other directions. otoh, i'd love to see the library's hours expanded - opening at 10AM on Sunday is a big pain in the ass for us morning people.

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