Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The responsibility of CSA

< of the CSA debate yesterday evening, there were about 20 people in the Great Space. Only six of us were actually there for the debate.  Students filed by, ordering coffee and sandwiches, without as much as a glance towards their fellow students competing for the right to represent them.  The ironic part of this dismal turnout? There are actually enough candidates to debate this year.

Last year’s CSA debates were memorably less than contentious.  Both the presidential candidate and the treasurer candidate ran unopposed.  In the Senator race, six students ran for six seats.  The decision was made to reduce the number of seats to five, simply so that there would be some semblance of a runoff.

This year, under the new system of electing Senators, there are a total of 14 students vying for six seats.  Perhaps most impressive is the showing made by the Class of 2013.  There are seven freshmen running for the two class Senate seats.  Unfortunately, there were less than 15 freshmen in attendance to witness their peers explain why they feel they are best suited to represent them.

As the groundwork to Paul Wellstone’s campaign, Carleton is historically an active campus. But recently there is consistently a disconnect, a lack of interest and participation between the student body and its student government.

CSA’s biggest problem is visibility. CSA does a poor job of letting students know exactly what it does, what it is working on and how it affects students’ lives. Sure, we all know that CSA exists, and that we go to budget committee for funding. But how else is CSA involved with the school? The decisions that CSA committees make are rarely effectively relayed to the public and most students are unaware of them unless they are directly involved.

The two presidential candidates both talked about increasing visibility of CSA, yet there was very little advertisement of the debates.  How can the community become involved if there isn’t a stronger effort to engage them? We challenge the future leadership of CSA to actively and visibly work on this problem.

CSA plays a vital role in Carleton’s community. It is CSA’s responsibility to the student body to increase its visibility and demonstrate its importance. Make us care.- The editorial represents the views of The Carletonian editors.

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