SLC behind closed doors

I am writing to protest the recent actions of SLC regarding press coverage and public access to their meetings, as detailed in Tom Fucoloro’s Op-Ed of two weeks ago entitled “SLC is not representing you”. In SLC’s May 8th meeting, Fucoloro was blackmailed into agreeing to go off the record under threat of executive session (expulsion from the meeting) and subsequently accosted for (heaven forbid) allowing a student unassociated with TKS to voice an opinion critical of SLC in a letter to the editor. SLC subsequently mustered the gall to suggest that they be allowed to censor the TKS opinion page or else they would continue to use executive session to expel TKS journalists from their meetings.

As the student body is finally beginning to realize, SLC has significant say in the goings-on of campus life, and the effects of its actions are felt far and wide. It troubles me deeply that a committee concerning itself directly with student life would feel that expelling the students it governs from its meetings on a regular basis is acceptable behavior. I sympathize with the existence of executive session as a procedural institution only as long as the temptation to abuse it is kept carefully restrained, and (as committee member Mike Godsil recently suggested) no decisions that would result in action are made behind closed doors.

Before this year, SLC had been allowed to operate in virtual anonymity simply because no one cared to pay attention. However, its failure to properly gather input and gauge campus opinion in regards to the recent campus discussion of the Greek system has resulted in repercussions that have stripped it of its anonymity. It seems that the Student Life Committee is less than comfortable operating in the light of day, and is eager to reclaim the ability to operate with neither student input nor student presence. For a committee that is concerned with student life, this attitude is both reprehensible and absurd.

In response to those who would point out that several students are voting members of SLC, I would argue that the Senate Exec members who currently serve as such are not representative of the student body. A case in point: by my math, at least one of those students voted in favor of closing SLC meetings, and as I see it, no conscientious student should have voted that way. To me, SLC’s ability to direct campus discourse combined with its apparent ignorance and/or disregard of student opinion means that its proceedings should bear careful public scrutiny. For this to continue, their habit of censoring and disciplining press representatives must be nipped in the bud.

John Lane

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