SU can’t win

By Travis Coates

Editor, the Gauntlet,

Re: Students’ Union

Dear Students’ Union,

As an average University of Calgary student to whom you are responsible, I want to tell you that it’s high time you got your act together!

When I first came to the U of C, I thought the SU was simply doing the best it could in a difficult situation, that it was trying to deal with problems that were largely beyond its control such as tuition increases and university policy.

However, after four years of watching SU impotency, I’ve come to realize that the SU can’t even manage problems within its own control, let alone play any significant role in those previously stated.

My list of grievances is long, but here are a few recent ones that finally drove me to write this letter.

The Den

If the SU manages to get the Den shut down because of its inability to deal with problems in a timely fashion, I for one will be pissed. There have been problems with security ever since the new Den opened. Here we are one-and-a-half years later, and for the most part, nothing has changed. This is unacceptable!

It’s high time the SU realizes that the Den is a bar and starts to run it accordingly. Other bars hire bouncers, and for a good reason. I’m not trying to belittle the Den staff, but I mean real bouncers! Everyone knows the difference, and more importantly, so do trouble makers.

The SU seems to believe that a poster campaign asking people to be nice will do the trick. Meanwhile, the university is threatening to take away the liquor license. Come on SU! How can you expect to take you seriously if an organization of your size and resources can’t even manage a midsize bar?

I’m tired of seeing half measures and hearing about SU’s apparent belief that security is only a temporary measure until the day when every single drunk person that happens through the Den will behave like Ghandi. It’s time to wake up, stop talking about it and take action. How many years is it going to take? I’m tired of hearing about this.

The house-boat conference:

This entire incident is an indication of the SU’s current thinking, or lack-there-of. No matter how hard I try, I can’t fathom the logic in spending students’ money paying for transportation and boat rentals rather than simply getting together on campus.

Richard Bergen’s recent attempt to rationalize the trip only served to make me angrier. He successfully put in writing just how little this trip accomplished. Did it honestly take 21 SLC and SAA members to determine that students are concerned about tuition. That sounds like the beginning to a bad joke, and sadly, I think that joke is on them. Team building? Pages of ideas? Fill every notebook in the bookstore for all I care. Without execution, it’s all meaningless.

SU in general:

Why are all students so apathetic when it comes to the SU? Let’s be honest. It’s because they see it for what it really is: a group of people going through the motions they call student representation in order to pad their resumes. Why is the SU so ineffective? Perhaps it’s due to fact that SU members don’t really care. After all, in a year they’ll be gone, with higher paying jobs because of their SU “contributions,” and students will continue to struggle with tuition increases and all the other issues that those representatives are supposed to deal with.

In closing, I want to challenge the SU and its members. Please change my opinion about you and please don’t make me write another letter.

– Travis Coates

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