Student government is perhaps starting to decline. The shabby results of the recent LUCC elections are unprecedented: only nine of the fourteen available representative positions were filled, and each election was uncontested. LUCC has barely enough representatives to fill the Finance Committee (which funds every student organization), and the LUCC President, failing to appoint members the other committees this last spring, has hardly any resources to do the work of student government. LUCC began as a great experiment; is it nearing its end?The utter lack of interest and the poor leadership in student government leads us to this question: What is the point of having government if no one is willing to govern? We could just have a bureaucracy that would distribute funds as it saw fit, without debate, without question, and without accountability; the process would be streamlined for maximum efficiency and minimum fairness, and we students would need not bother with community matters. We could stop fussing with democracy and quorums and let the university administration be our guide.
Perhaps this is not what we want. Maybe we ought not suffer a blind trust of administrators and attribute to them an undeserved and unquestionable infallibility; maybe we should not abdicate the power given to us to influence university policy; maybe we should realize that we are students and as such are trained to question, and the very training so masterfully provided by our university can also be used to change it. But if none of this matters, then student government is nothing more than a Potemkin Village wherein our apathy resides.
We need to have a conversation about taking responsibility for our community. LUCC is a unique entity: it is rare that a university faculty will allow students so many opportunities to participate in governing non-curricular matters. But if taking this kind of responsibility in our community is worthless to us, then we should relinquish it; if we value it, however, then it is high time to act on our responsibilities before we lose them.