Not gonna happen

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James Bonsall, the apparent president-elect of the Student Government Association, managed to secure the position by a mere nine votes right before Spring Break.

That is, of course, if Josh Sesar, mathematics sophomore, doesn’t challenge the results.

But that’s not terribly important just yet. Whoever has the position after this week has some big promises to live up to, and I’m not sure they can deliver.

Talking about making textbooks tax-free and changing how much money athletics receives versus other student groups is comparable to promising longer Spring Breaks when you’re running for the student council in high school; it’s just not going to happen.

The one issue both candidates campaigned on was making IU Southeast more green, whatever that means. Adding recycling for plastics would be nice, but that’s an expensive venture. The cost is precisely why there aren’t any bins for plastics on campus.

Now, one way to combat this could be to seek grants from outside sources. That way, the money is there for a while and the campus could afford to pay for the costs. I’m all for it.

I just don’t think there’s anyone in student government who’s going to dedicate the time and effort it takes to find the funding for such a program.

And that’s not necessarily because they’re lazy, although that may be a contributor. The student body president is the leader of an organization, required to attend hours and hours of meetings every month, and is also a student. Finding that kind of funding would be difficult enough for someone who’s not taking classes.

The senate probably isn’t going to seek a venture that big, either. Everything manages to get passed under emergency status because the bills aren’t written in advance  enough to go through the proper legislative process. Everything is last-minute, so I don’t have high expectations for an expanded recycling program.

One issue unique to Bonsall’s campaign is making textbooks tax-free. I love the idea. It would be fantastic to have the extra cash I saved on sales taxes to buy other supplies.

I don’t think this is going to happen, either.

Texas passed legislation to make textbooks tax-free for a limited time before the regular semester, saving some students in the state as much as $75 a semester. That was passed by the state legislature, not an SGA.

Student government doesn’t really have much control over this sort of issue, especially since this is something that’s handled at the state level. If they want to actively campaign and promote letter-writing initiatives with students, that’s just fine. They’re just making promises on issues they can’t handle by themselves.

Either way, whichever one of you actually wins, I hope your administration has the ambition and gumption to actually do, well,  anything at all for a change.

Jerod Clapp
Senior Editor
jlclapp@ius.edu