Editorial Board

New SA administration finally puts tangible goals over vague buzzwords

Courtesy of James Franco

SA President James Franco and Vice President Angie Pati's goals seem promising, but they should remember to put student life first.

Student Association President James Franco and Vice President Angie Pati have one goal for this academic year that stands out above the rest: to make SA a “people’s government.”

To Franco and Pati, this means ensuring SA is known for transparency and open communication. But most Syracuse University students aren’t concerned with SA’s reputation or even knowing what happens at a meeting. To students, a people’s government means making changes that actually improve their life on campus.

This is the mistake past SA administrations have made — focusing on vague goals like “communication” and “connection.” This year, Franco and Pati have ditched buzzwords in favor of tangible bullet points.

Yes, transparency is at the top of the SA administration’s list. But Franco and Pati have also listened to students’ concerns and set goals to address them. They are laying the groundwork for a peer listening service to supplement SU’s mental health services, and are working to implement a Euclid Avenue-area shuttle.

And to build to that list, Franco and Pati are planning a “listening tour” to meet student organizations and hear their concerns.

Students should take advantage of SA’s promise of open communication. After all, SA is a great resource for students to air grievances. Franco sits on the university’s Board of Trustees and has the ear of the SU administration, so he can suggest change in a forum students don’t have.

Still, students shouldn’t have to know the ins and outs of an SA meeting to benefit from the organization. It’s SA’s responsibility to identify and advocate for the student body’s top needs, like it has with its Euclid shuttle and mental health care proposals.

Achieving these goals might not come with recognition from the average student, and SA members should recognize their jobs are often thankless. Nevertheless, tangible goals should remain SA’s top priority.

After the former SA president’s bylaw violations, repairing SA’s image should be important for the current administration. But Franco and Pati shouldn’t think students don’t trust SA — they’re probably more concerned with the next football game.

The Daily Orange Editorial Board serves as the voice of the organization and aims to contribute the perspectives of students to discussions that concern Syracuse University and the greater Syracuse community. The editorial board’s stances are determined by a majority of its members. You can read more about the editorial board here.

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