LETTER TO THE EDITOR

ULM Hawkeye

Former president: SGA threatens those who stand against them

Dear Editor,

This past Monday, October 17, 2011, SGA held a forum for students and community members to hear proposals for the future of the ULM Natatorium. The event was held at 5:30 pm on the 7th floor of the library. The forum was held during times when students and community members may have class, work, family responsibilities, or other pressing issues preventing them from attending this meeting. However, SGA Secretary Calvin Stafford posted a comment on the Save the Natatorium page detailing the event and ending by saying “BE THERE OR BE SILENT.” This comment has threat written all over it. SGA is suppose to hear the concerns and opinions of students and others involved and make the best decision for the students. However, if SGA Executives or members are threatening students to be silent if they cannot attend a meeting, students will never voice their opinion because they feel SGA does not understand their needs nor wants to hear their concerns due to threats such as these. As many of you may recall, threatening comments to ULM students were made by last year’s Executive Officers and Members surrounding the recent failing of two referendums in the Spring of 2011. Facebook statuses and comments on other students’ pages had phrases like “You are stupid if you don’t vote for the referendum” or “Students who did not vote for the referendum are stupid, idiots, need to leave ULM, etc.”. Comments like these are the reason that ULM Students have not voiced their opinions in the past. SGA Officers receive tuition and paychecks each semester, which are funded by the students, and they are given the job of listening and helping students and ULM become a better place. However; SGA continues to isolate themselves to opinions they only want to hear, or opinions by students who are on SGA because they are forced to attend these type of meetings. Now I, understand SGA may not be able to reach every student and hear every student opinion, but threatening students to be silent for not attending is rude and uncalled for because if SGA will not hear student opinions who will. I am very disappointed in the SGA right now because of comments like these and others that have been made. I am also disappointed in the ULM Administration and Staff that leads SGA because this has gone on long enough. I know serving in these positions is not always easy because I have served in all of them myself, but SGA needs to consider their actions and words before they ask for student opinions because the reason is quite clear why students do not voice their opinions or ask questions about proposals or referendums (maybe this is why the referendum failed). “Be There or Be Silent” – Maybe SGA should take their own advice.

Sincerely,

Hannah Livingston

Former SGA President