On Feb. 7, LUCC successfully untethered itself from any meaningful concept of representative government by overwhelmingly voting, without holding a referendum, to raise the student activity fee by 25 percent. But this was not a surprising move considering the council’s tendencies to adopt policies affecting the student body without so much as a cursory effort to look for a community opinion. Essentially, I am not writing this to lament the increase. Based on the state of LUCC finances, an increase would have been helpful, but it certainly was not necessary. I have every reason to embrace the new quarter million dollar LUCC budget because it will temporarily quell the annual budget acrimony. With the enlarged treasury, Cene and I could just give student organizations everything they want and not spend time fighting. While I do not relish controversy, much can be said for making these difficult decisions rather than siphoning another $46,000 from the student body. Given the elitist attitude demonstrated by the council’s refusal to hold a referendum on the matter, the decision to increase the fee is slow-motion larceny perpetuated by a council exhibiting a depraved indifference to the student body.
At meetings, some members of the council openly flaunt their indifference towards their constituents and credit their decision to join the council as an excellent resume boosting endeavor. There are plenty of other ways to pad a resume around here besides joining our powerful community government and thoroughly wrecking it. LUCC does the community a supreme disservice when it selfishly operates only to maximize its own ambition and convenience. This decision is only a manifestation of these latent problems. If the sole reason to be on LUCC is to enhance a resume, one’s purpose is served after third week. Actually representing the community has become merely an inconvenience and an afterthought for many members.
So how can we begin to reconstitute LUCC as an instrument of meaningful change? The first step is to develop accountability measures in order to keep representatives faithful to their constituencies well beyond election time. Cene and I are proposing constitution, by-law, electoral, and rules of order changes that will bring accountability back to LUCC, if there ever was any to begin with. In the meantime, I would encourage you all to ask your representatives why they seem to think they can treat you as means rather than ends.