The Herald has historically had a weekly column devoted to covering the meetings of student government. It covered meetings of the Cammarian Club, the student caucus, and the Undergraduate Council of Students. The Council’s minutes are available. It holds weekly community time before every GB. The members hold office hours in most of our dining establishments and they even have a Twitter account. Then why are so many people still skeptical of what they do? Why was the word “totalitarian” used to describe a group open to all members of the student body?
The UCS-UFB Constitutional amendment referendum has stirred up emotions across the campus. People are duking it out on Facebook discussion boards, on Spotted@Brown and across tables in the Campus Center. Some people are regurgitating information their friends told them; others are skewing facts, and many others are suffering the ravages of a game of telephone gone wrong. Many of us don’t even know what these bodies do, but we do know better than to bite the hand that feeds us monetarily, the UFB.
People are speaking about UCS more than they have since presidential candidate Arthur sent a campaign manifesto to 500 CC’ed email recipients. People are making memes and lashing insults. If nothing else, the campus reaction begs the question: what is the role of student government on Brown’s campus?
Tonight, there will be a forum to discuss the referendum at 5:30pm in Lower Salomon (Sal001). Voting has been extended until 11:59PM so that the meeting may be used to inform the votes of students who remain on the fence. If you have an opinion on the matter — in fact, if you don’t have an opinion — this is an opportunity to learn more about these student organizations and the purpose they serve on Brown’s campus. The online referendum can be found on MyCourses.