Forum

Student involvement needed in appointment of SBVP

Credit: Braden Kelner/Forum Editor and Rachel Cohen/Pillbox Editor Credit: Braden Kelner/Forum Editor and Rachel Cohen/Pillbox Editor

Junior electrical and computer engineering major Ian Glasner recently took on the role of student body vice president after former student body vice president Peter Masters, junior international relations and politics and philosophy double major, stepped down from the position.

While The Tartan appreciates the swift appointment for a vacant position, the student body should have been given the chance to meet Glasner and start a dialogue with him when he was nominated, and later approved, by Student Senate for the position.

Currently, Student Senate’s bylaws dictate that the student body president must nominate a candidate if the student body vice president position becomes vacant. The bylaws state that the Student Senate must then approve the appointment. Student Body President Lindsay MacGillivray and Student Senate at large did indeed follow these bylaws. However, Student Senate may wish to revise the bylaws to include a period of time during which the student body may provide its own input and ask questions of the nominated candidate.

Student Senate has held a variety of town hall meetings to reach out to the student body previously and should have held a similar open forum to allow Glasner to describe his goals as student body vice president and respond to possible concerns. An open forum with Glasner would have been a perfect opportunity for him to hear, and take into consideration, the needs of the student body.

Admittedly, Student Senate has taken initiative to identify student concerns this semester with the launch of the WTF CMU (What to Fix at Carnegie Mellon) Facebook page. However, an open forum for students to ask Glasner questions and voice concerns would have provided a level of interaction that WTF CMU and similar initiatives cannot provide.

This criticism, however, should not reflect on the qualifications and credentials of Glasner. Glasner seems fit for the role based on his previous experience as a member of MacGillivray’s student government cabinet and his involvement in the campus community as a community advisor, a member of the executive committee of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, and a founding member of a student organization dedicated to helping those in Haiti.

The Tartan only hopes that the student body will be more involved in the process of appointed positions within Student Senate if similar vacancies occur in the future.