September 29, 2010

Letter to the Editor: S.A. Doesn’t Need a Reality Check

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To the Editor:

Re: “Letter to the Editor: S.A. needs a reality check” Opinion, Sept. 27

It is deeply troubling to see the members of the Student Innovation Group continue to polarize and politicize the attempts by the Student Assembly to reach out to Cornellians, especially considering their original purpose as a means of improving the Student Assembly’s relations with the Cornell community.

The former committee of the Student Assembly, eventually jettisoned last year for failing to meet its stated goals, claims that the Assembly has failed to fight for issues that affect students directly. It specifically mentions group funding, housing issues and the recent discussion of the University Recognition Policy for Greek organizations. Had the group quickly browsed through the Student Assembly’s resolutions from the past year, it would have seen that we addressed each one of those issues (and much more) in a substantive way.

Just two weeks ago the Student Assembly passed R. 7 that will allow us to review and improve the funding guidelines for student organizations through the SAFC. And last spring we passed an amendment to our charter that will help finally stamp out discrimination in student organizations.

In the recent controversy over the proposed changes to the University Recognition Policy, the Student Assembly has opted to play a constructive role by requesting information from Gannett Health Services, the Judicial Administrator’s Office, the Residential Programs Office and the Cornell and Ithaca police that will provide much needed context to the plans.

Finally, going into effect this year, the housing lottery has been reformed and over 100 additional slots on West campus have been opened to rising sophomores thanks to the efforts of the Student Assembly last year.

All that is just a small part of the Student Assembly’s work for the student body. Now can someone tell me what the Student Innovation Group has been up to?

Matt Danzer ’12, Student Assembly LGBTQ representative at large