To the Editor, In the Nov. 18 issue of The Hofstra Chronicle, a respectable paper, there was an article by former SGA Senator Gary Duff, entitled, “Five ways to fix SGA.” The editorial provided what I feel is misinformation and needs correction.
I would first like to stress that, in my understanding, former President Hyman did not resign for reasons similar to Duff. It was a personal decision, unrelated to SGA.
On Reputation: Duff claims that SGA does not have a good reputation and that we should blame the Public Relations Chair. He suggests that SGA should “fire” its public relations chair.
As public relations chair, I have created and now reformed an SGA press release system, planned our first-ever press conference, increased the level of communication with both students and administration and substantially amplified the number of publications that SGA releases. Though there are still admittedly ways in which SGA’s reputation can improve, I have personally implemented a number of programs and policies that have begun that process.
A reputation of several years will not change overnight. The current SGA cannot be held responsible for past SGAs’ actions; however, we work to improve ourselves daily.
I invite all students to email Club Relations Chair Cameron Freitag, at SGA_ClubRelations@pride.hofstra.edu, or myself, at SGA_PublicRelations@pride.hofstra.edu. Either of us would be happy to meet with you and address your concerns.
On Fairness: The editorial criticizes SGA for being unfair. It cites one example: to run for president or vice president, one must be a member of SGA. Not a valid point, if SGA exclusively were composed of senators, programmers and cabinet members; SGA delegates, however, are also eligible to run.
On Transparency: Duff presents accurate information here. SGA does not record the votes of senators, except when votes are by roll call. However, we are working on legislation mandating certain votes to be by roll call. This is just a small part of SGA’s plan to increase transparency.
On Incentive: Duff here proposes that SGA establish two scholarships for student leaders. Though I admire Duff’s intent, this is an irresponsible use of the Student Activities Fee. Students should not pay money to lower someone else’s tuition. The article also indicates that the SGA President has a budget, but the President’s budget was abolished over a year ago. No single person has exclusive control over any budget in SGA, as we hold dear our system of checks and balances.
On Agenda Setting: He does not specify what SGA needs to “fix”; he simply accuses SGA of doing what is “expected” instead of what is “right,” despite his year-long uninvolvement.
SGA is not a perfect organization, but not enough credit is given for the strides forward that it has made. Any questions, comments or concerns may be addressed to myself, or you can stop by our office in Room 207 of the Student Center.
Billy Finnegan SGA Public Relations Chair