Editorials

Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church, which opened its doors in October 1931, is a testament to Emory’s Methodist roots./Priyam Mazumdar, Contributing

The last time the Methodist Church split was over slavery in 1844. While the two sides eventually reconciled to form the United Methodist Church (UMC), it now faces tension over another pressing issue: LGBTQ rights.

Emory University is chartered under UMC, which contentiously voted to prohibit same-sex marriage and the ordination of gay ministers. While 53 percent of all delegates, including international voters, voted for the “Traditional Plan,” 66 percent of American delegates voted in favor of the more progressive “One Church Plan.” The latter would have offered individual churches room for their own interpretations of scripture. Some believe the outcome of this vote will lead to a split in the UMC, with dissenting churches embracing the LGBTQ community and gay ministers.

Regardless, it’s unclear how the UMC will operate given that some of its ministers and a significant portion of its congregations identify as LGBTQ.

Emory was founded as a Methodist university, and it continues to be affiliated with the church. Currently, five of the 45-member Board of Trustees are ordained by the UMC, including its Vice Chair B. Michael Watson. But the UMC’s decision clashes with the University’s support of the LGBTQ community.

In a University-wide email, Sterk acknowledged that Emory respects and welcomes people regardless of their sexual orientation. However, the University needs to supplement this internal support with external advocacy to uphold those ideals. Emory should support a split in the UMC and side with those advocating for a more inclusive and welcoming church. The University should not affiliate itself with a church that rejects the LGBTQ community.

It’s a promising sign that our University leaders have already denounced the decision. Campus Pride, an organization that measures institutional support for LGBTQ individuals, currently gives Emory 4.5 out of 5 stars. If Emory wants to preserve this rating, it should seriously reconsider its relationship with the UMC.  

Rev. Lisa Garvin, acting dean of the Chapel and Spiritual Life, said she hopes Emory will influence the church’s decisions on similar matters in the future. She added that “the church has taken an action, but that does not mean it’s the position of all people and clergy who are Methodist.” The Candler School of Theology’s leaders have also responded critically to the decision. Dean of the Candler School of Theology Jan Love wrote to Candler students that the school would continue supporting its “LGBTQIA+ sisters and brothers at this time of hardship, grief, and suffering” on Feb. 26.

Associate Dean of Methodist Studies Anne Burkholder maintains that a united church does not have to be a unanimous church. She said the problem is twofold: traditionalists dogmatically interpret scripture and fail to respect each church’s interpretation of the Bible. It’s unclear how this ideologically divided church would function, but the University cannot allow the UMC to erase LGBTQ individuals. Emory should not only continue to support LGBTQ individuals, as Sterk outlined in her email, but it should also advocate for a split within the church to ensure that LGBTQ humanity cannot be denied.

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei.

Courtesy of the Rose Library

It’s difficult to hide from history, as Virginia’s top politicians have recently learned. In light of this controversy, University President Claire E. Sterk recently addressed remnants of Emory’s racist past. This troubling history includes yearbook photos from throughout the 20th century that feature students boasting Confederate symbols, wearing blackface, impersonating Native Americans and wearing Nazi and Ku Klux Klan costumes. In a Feb. 20 statement, Sterk wrote that Emory will establish a Legacy Commission to better confront the legacy of racism that taints our school’s history.

The commission, meant to investigate how Emory has grappled with racial and ethnic discrimination in its past, is a move toward addressing these incidents. The University should be commended for its initiative and accountability, but lip service is not enough. In the University-wide announcement, Sterk does not provide a definitive plan for the commission’s function. Emory should look to other universities that have begun initiatives to address similar issues.

Universities including Harvard University and Columbia University have already launched probes into their tangled history with slavery. Harvard’s 2016 research findings were publicly displayed in the Pusey House Library and can be accessed online. Under the tutelage of Eric Foner, a Pulitzer-prize winning history professor at Columbia, students researched and published Columbia’s links to slavery. The university offers the course “Columbia University and Slavery” today.

More recently, Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have removed or planned to relocate Confederate monuments, while also creating educational resources about their school’s controversial histories.

Of the schools that have begun reckoning with their racist pasts, Georgetown University has engineered the largest and most sweeping effort. The university created the Georgetown Memory Project in 2016 to tell the story of 272 slaves who were sold by the college in 1883. Georgetown now offers free tuition to any descendants of those 272 slaves and has made a concerted effort to engage the “Descendent Community” in its reparation plans.

Other schools’ situations are not identical to Emory’s, but they still serve as a model for how the University can deal with its history. While Emory did not directly own slaves, it did employ slave labor. Moreover, most early faculty, trustees and every antebellum president owned slaves, and much of the money used to found the College came from slave-owning individuals.

Emory’s Legacy Commission could begin addressing the disturbing details of Emory’s conception by creating and distributing physical markers or plaques that offer historical information about the namesakes of Emory buildings, many of whom owned slaves. These memorials should include all aspects of their history — not just those that portray them favorably.

The commission should also consider recommending that Emory rename halls and memorials named for those with unsavory legacies. Longstreet-Means Hall’s namesake, Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, was a passionate defender of the Confederacy, slavery and the Old South. He also served as president of Emory University from 1840 to 1848. During his tenure, he published “A Voice from the South,” which attempts to justify slavery and criticizes northern states for profiting from the slave trade. Longstreet-Means Hall, the first-year residence hall, may be a great place to live, but its namesake is not a sound representative of Emory’s modern values. Instead of naming buildings after Confederate alumni, the University could use the names of alumni who contributed to its racial integration, such as Delores P. Aldridge, the first African American to hold a tenure-track position on campus.

The administration is not the only body responsible for addressing the University’s past.

Most of the racist photos in the archives depict fraternity activities; five chapters represented in these images are still on campus. Emory’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) should issue statements addressing these racist images and make clear that discriminatory behavior will not be tolerated. These photos provide fraternities an opportunity to speak out against the sentiments expressed therein; to waste such a moment would be folly, aligning Greek life at Emory with the reputation for racism popularly associated with fraternities.

Commission members must be bold. While other universities have taken strides to manifest their involvement with slavery, segregation and racism, Emory’s past efforts have been comparatively discreet. Sterk has laid a strong foundation for reconciliation efforts by founding the legacy commission. This group has the ability to reshape the way Emory understands its past, and change the way our community thinks and talks about race.

As recently as 1992, Emory students wore Confederate uniforms for a photo shoot and the University is still working to address the black student demands presented in 2015. Our work is not done.  

If Emory aims to be a progressive institution, Sterk’s Legacy Commission must educate the Emory community about the University’s less progressive history.

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp proposed legislation to bolster Georgians’ access to health care through a bill that would give him the executive ability to partially expand Medicaid. Georgia Republicans have spearheaded the campaign to enact the Patients First Act, which gives low-income Georgians access to more affordable health care. The partial expansion is a step in the right direction to ensure the most vulnerable people in the state receive health care coverage.

But the bill is a half-hearted attempt to solve the health care crisis and fails to take advantage of federal funds already set aside for state Medicaid programs.

The proposal falls short in guaranteeing health care for Georgians who need it most. Georgia House Democrats unanimously oppose the bill for a reason: full Medicaid expansion is the smarter choice. Stacey Abrams, the 2018 Democratic Georgia gubernatorial candidate, has called the Republican proposal a “pale facsimile” of a plan which gives Kemp significant power in deciding how Medicaid will operate and who will ultimately benefit from the bill — a dangerous model considering Kemp strove to disenfranchise poor and minority voters to win the 2018 election. Without full Medicaid expansion, Georgia is also losing out on billions of dollars in potential federal funding and has to pay more money to cover fewer people; since Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, the federal government will match state spending nine-to-one for states which have fully expanded Medicaid. Georgia is one of only 14 states in the country not taking advantage of that money, a result of fierce opposition by Georgia Republican lawmakers.

The scope of the expansion is also limited by Kemp’s proposed waiver structure, which would prevent people who are slightly above the poverty line from receiving Medicaid. It would also allow people who use the Affordable Care Act exchange market to buy private health insurance, competition which can drive up prices for Medicaid. Kemp’s law departs from convention as it would only allow people who fall below the poverty line to receive benefits, while states that have fully expanded Medicaid allow anyone who falls within a margin of the poverty line to also receive benefits. Few would argue a person with an annual income of $13,000 — only slightly above the poverty line for adults under 65 — doesn’t deserve to be covered by Medicaid. This method also incentivizes people to fall below the line to receive benefits.

Medicaid expansion is politically popular in Georgia, as 71 percent of registered Georgia voters polled by the University of Georgia said they supported expansion. But it’s questionable whether Kemp’s law would satisfy voters. The bill’s failure to expand Medicaid beyond the poverty line limits its ability to resolve Georgia’s rural health care crisis. In addition, the law is being proposed amid a national conversation that strongly favors more drastic overhauls to the American health care system. A staggering 70 percent of Americans, including a majority of Republicans, Democrats and Independents support a single-payer “Medicare for all” system. Such a system would abolish private health insurance, which would be replaced by a single provider managed by the federal government and paid for by taxes.

Kemp’s proposed Medicaid expansion would benefit some Georgians but would do little to alleviate wider frustrations for those who would still be required to purchase private insurance. America spends twice as much on health care than almost all other developed countries while achieving similar or worse health outcomes, according to a 2018 study from Harvard University (Mass.). Though we cannot expect that Kemp will jump on an Obamacare-esque bandwagon anytime soon, Americans are longing for more than Kemp’s partial Medicaid expansion.

Although Kemp and Georgia House Republicans have offered a serviceable proposal to partially expand Medicaid in the state, they should follow the lead of the 36 states which have already fully expanded Medicaid.

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei.

 

Student Government Association’s (SGA) updates to the Elections Code represent an important step in ensuring that the debacle of last year’s SGA elections never occurs again.

Changes to clearly delineate elections rules and allow Elections Board members to recuse themselves from cases when they have a conflict of interest increase trust in the integrity of our elections process — crucial after last year’s circus show. However, the Electoral Reform Commission should consider further updates to create a fairer voting system based on enrollment year to ensure that all eligible students can vote.

The recently passed changes to the Elections Code are productive measures. The annual rules audit will ensure that outdated or unnecessary rules are regularly eliminated from the Elections Code, allowing for more clarity. Explicit penalties stated in the code, such as the newly added clause that alcohol will not be allowed as a campaign promotion, will prevent the sort of arbitrary decision making that led to confusion during last Spring’s elections.

The Elections Code change that adds “no confidence” as an option for all ballots, as opposed to just uncontested elections, will allow students to signal a rejection of all candidates. The current system forces students to choose one candidate in uncontested elections, even if they deem everyone unfit.

Last year, students’ voting status was determined by the number of credit hours they completed, rather than their year in college. This classification made some juniors ineligible to vote if they had senior standing based on credit hours and forced sophomores with junior standing to vote for class representatives who were juniors or seniors. While the Electoral Reform Commission should have some means of disenfranchising senior-standing juniors who plan to graduate a full year early, that this ability currently comes at the expense of some juniors who plan to return is unacceptable. The classification process must change so students can vote for representatives who stand for their interests and to ensure a fair and democratic process.

We commend the Elections Board for modifying the Elections Code, but these changes will be meaningless unless SGA upholds the higher standard the changes have set.

 

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei.

Kimia Tabatabaei is a freshman legislator on College Council and recused herself from this piece.

Georgia’s House Bill 2, which would reduce the state’s firearm restrictions, is an irresponsible reform that would endanger people state-wide.

The Georgia legislature is considering the Kemp-backed bill, led by state Rep. Matt Gurtler (R-Tiger), which would end licensing requirements for guns. The bill’s proposed “constitutional carry” measure would mean individuals could carry a gun without undergoing a background check. While Georgia will still require background checks before some gun purchases, removing the licensure process for carrying guns would allow some individuals to buy and carry without ever undergoing a background check. The bill would also repeal restrictions on carrying a handgun in parks, historic sites or recreational areas.

Constitutional carry removes important safeguards designed to ensure those who carry handguns have some level of knowledge and responsibility. Abolishing the requirement for a mandatory background check removes a measure of accountability which comes at minimal inconvenience to those obtaining a permit. Other states that have passed constitutional carry have seen increased gun violence — Arizona, for example, has experienced a 39 percent increase in firearm-related aggravated assaults since it enacted permitless carry legislation in 2010.

Gurtler claims the bill is not that radical because Georgia would still offer permits for gun owners to abide by gun laws in states which do not allow permitless carry. It’s not the first time Gurtler has pursued constitutional carry, as he pushed unsuccessfully for the same legislation in 2017.

In the past, Gurtler also introduced legislation for Georgia school districts to arm teachers and school staff — legislation that did not receive a single vote. However, Kemp’s support renders Gurtler’s House Bill 2 much more threatening.

At a fundamental level, the term constitutional carry is a misnomer. All constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms, are subject to rational, measured restrictions, limitations which have repeatedly been upheld by the Supreme Court. It should be illegal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. A background check is a small price to pay to ensure those carrying weapons are doing so legally and responsibly.

Gurtler’s bill represents a reckless, irresponsible interpretation of the Second Amendment that serves to exacerbate our country’s gun violence epidemic, and reasonable citizens should oppose it.

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei.

Shreya Pabbaraju/Editorial Board contributor

In light of last week’s Student Government Association (SGA) meeting during which legislators discussed the contradictions between the Constitution and the Code of Elections, SGA must revise its constitution.

If two students examined SGA’s Constitution and Code of Elections, they could each walk away with different interpretations that could both be valid. Such inconsistent interpretations have led to infighting among SGA members which is detrimental to their ability to collaborate and work on undergraduate initiatives.

Elections Board members are appointed by the president, according to Section 4 of the Constitution, which states that all non-elected members and officials “serve at the pleasure of the President of the SGA.” While SGA President Dwight Ma (17Ox, 19C) interpreted this phrase to mean he could fire former Elections Board chair Justin Cohen, Elections Code Article 9, Section 2 states that Elections Board members can be removed by a vote of the legislature, causing some to question whether Ma’s decision was constitutional.

In addition, the expulsion procedures for members of the legislature are unclear; the Constitution says the legislature can expel legislators, but it fails to specify how many votes this would require. Students should be able to clearly know of the threshold of removal for elected and appointed members of SGA, as this information is crucial for holding officials accountable.

SGA has also failed to update some governing documents on their OrgSync portal, and others, such as the Finance Code and SGA Bylaws, have not been posted online for multiple years. The Rules and Procedures of the Student Legislature, adopted in 2014, has only had one revision since its publication: the addition of Resolution 47sl38, an “Omnibus Rules Revision and Reformatting.” The lack of revision demonstrates the incompetence of the SGA to effectively serve our current student interests. And even two years after the split from Graduate Student Government Association (GSGA),  SGA has yet to adjust its documents to reflect the distinction of the bodies, with the same document including descriptions of defunct positions such as a “Vice President of Graduate Affairs.”

SGA’s Governing Documents Committee, formed late last Fall, should look to peer institutions’ practices. The SGA should consolidate their documents to avoid discrepancies. Vanderbilt University (Tenn.), for example, has clearly defined procedures for vacancies and removal from office for both elected and appointed officials laid out in its student government constitution, while Emory’s procedures are found in both the Constitution and Rules and Procedures of the Student Legislature. Washington University in St. Louis’ (Mo.) constitution outlines a much clearer process for how to recall a student official. The procedures allow for input from constituents and demand that petitioners provide ample evidence indicating the official acted inappropriately enough to warrant such action. Although laying out those removal and impeachment proceedings might appear tedious, it is imperative that Emory have formal proceedings outlined to prevent the recent confusion around removals from happening again.

Rather than debating constitutionality, SGA should be focused on addressing issues that affect their student constituents. To ensure that SGA’s time is spent effectively, their governing documents must be precise. That the student legislature can be bogged down in debates over the constitutionality of an executive removal prompting the constitutional council chief justice to resign — illustrates that SGA must revise its constitution.

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei. Kimia Tabatabaei is a freshman legislator on College Council and recused herself from this piece.

Georgia Republicans are taking actions that will undermine the state’s voting system — and in a gerrymandered state government, they might just get away with it.

When U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg upheld Georgia’s current voting system in October, she criticized the state’s machines for their vulnerability to “malicious intrusion.” Her decision was limited by the fact that the midterm elections were too close for the government to completely overhaul its existing system. After, lawmakers of both parties expressed interest in a new method of voting. This presented Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger an opportunity to restore voters’ confidence in their voting systems by investing in paper ballots, but his response has been lackluster.

Instead of choosing the cheaper and more reliable paper option, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Raffesberger want to spend $150 million on ballot marking machines, which are vulnerable to the same issues as Georgia’s current touchscreen system. Ballot marking machines produce paper records containing only barcodes, making it impossible for voters to verify that their votes were accurately recorded. Rather than selecting this unverifiable and expensive method of counting ballots, Georgia should employ a paper ballot system, the only voting method that leaves an incontrovertible paper record.

Paper ballots would also solve a serious issue with Georgia’s current system: the lack of a physical receipt. That lack of a paper trail makes it impossible to accurately verify votes in a recount. This problem is exacerbated by readily accessible online videos that show how to easily hack Georgia’s voting machines and change votes. The National Academy of Sciences has established that these insecurities warrant the solitary use of paper ballots by the 2020 elections.

The machines that Republicans want to purchase are made by Election Systems & Software (E.S. & S.), a company with a troubling history of unethical practices. Lobbying by E.S. & S. played a key part in the killing of a 2006 bill in the Georgia legislature that would have required a verifiable paper trail for each ballot. Additionally, E.S. & S. offered Georgia election officials expense-paid trips to locations such as New York and Las Vegas and other perks, likely a contributing factor in their recent decision to favor the expensive ballot-marking machines.

Georgia Republicans have long paid lip service to the idea of protecting election integrity via purging inactive voters from the rolls and passing restrictive voter ID laws, policies that are largely ineffective at preventing voter fraud. However, when presented with the opportunity to make a meaningful change by switching to a simpler and more secure ballot system, these same officials equivocate, calling into question their true motivations.

Georgia voters deserve a secure, easily-verifiable voting system; Raffensperger’s current plan for ballot-marking machines does not accomplish that goal. If Republicans actually want to protect elections from external influence, paper ballots are the only option.

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei.

After the targeted voter purges in the 2018 midterm election, Georgia’s Republican-controlled legislature should seriously consider passing House Bill 6 to restore public faith in the electoral process. Proposed by Georgia House Minority Leader Robert Trammell, the bill would repeal provisions of the Georgia Code that allow for Georgia’s Secretary of State office to remove inactive voters from the rolls. Gov. Brian Kemp’s successor, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, claimed in a pre-election interview with Atlanta Magazine that a failure to “clean” Georgia’s voter rolls would be a “disaster for the state.” Georgia’s high numbers of voter purges, however, is the real disaster.

H.B. 6 would amend Provision 21-2-234 in Chapter 2 of Title 21 by repealing the state’s “use it or lose it” voter registration policy, which has been criticized for creating an unnecessary constraint on voting rights that primarily affects minorities and low-income citizens. Currently, Georgia voters who have failed to vote, confirm their home address with local and state officials, file for voter certification or sign a state-verified petition within the last three years are assigned “no contact” status. On odd-numbered years, those with “no contact” status are to be sent confirmation notices intended for voters to update their information, but if the confirmation notices are not returned to the government within 30 days, voters’ names will be placed on an inactive voters list. Once voters are marked inactive and do not vote in two subsequent general elections, they are effectively purged from the rolls.

Purging voter rolls can be an effective way to maintain electoral legitimacy, but the practice has devolved into an undemocratic cancer. Purges rely on error-ridden lists and lack sufficient public oversight, according to a report from the Brennan Center. They are also insufficiently communicated, as purged voters are not always informed after being removed, which risks disenfranchising people simply for not showing up.

While Republicans have defended these provisions as promoting electoral security, only eight other states have the “use it or lose it” policy challenged by HB 6. Additionally, the number of voters Georgia has purged since Kemp took office in 2010 — 1.4 million disproportionately low-income and minority individuals — seems unnecessarily large compared to the 32 individuals penalized for voter fraud in Georgia since 1997. President Donald J. Trump even convened a voter integrity commission to find evidence of widespread voter fraud after the 2016 election only to find no evidence of such illicit activity. The 1.4 million figure is also concerning given that Kemp beat Stacey Abrams by 70,000 votes.

If Republicans were genuinely concerned about electoral security, they would have made sure Georgia used hand-marked paper ballots. Such action was recommended by the cybersecurity expert serving on Georgia’s Secure, Accessible and Fair Elections (SAFE) Commission, Georgia Tech professor Wenke Lee. Instead, Raffensperger and his fellow Republicans chose costlier and less secure ballot-marking devices, which Lee noted are vulnerable to cyber attacks and lack an easily audited paper trail.

Unfortunately, HB 6 is unlikely to pass the House due to heavy Republican opposition. But if the party wants to restore public confidence in the rule of law, a small concession on elections reform could go a long way.

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei.

Shreya Pabbaraju/Editorial Board contributor

Student Government Association (SGA) handles more than $1 million in Student Activities Fees (SAF) each year. However, recent events suggest they may be incapable of shouldering that responsibility.

More than three months ago, former Vice President of Finance Paul Park (17Ox, 19B) discovered that SGA was in debt after over-allocating funds to the divisional councils by $28,019.33. SGA overestimated the revenue it would have from SAF money for this year, according to Park. Park knew about the over-allocation and failed to alert student government officials outside the limited few at a Nov. 7, 2018, Finance Committee meeting until shortly before he was fired on Jan. 11. Ever since, the abject failure of SGA to communicate the SAF situation to the student body is appalling, and student government leaders have yet to present an acceptable solution.

To address the issue, SGA first proposed to quietly cut approximately $45,000 from Media Council alone, supposedly to increase club sustainability by forcing publications to produce only online content, according to Freshman Representative and Finance Committee member Mo Singhal (22C). The $45,000 amounts to almost 83.5 percent of the 2017-18 Media Council budget, and is significantly more than the $28,000 deficit. SGA failed to adequately account for the additional $17,000 it would have gained from the ploy, and has since revealed that it wanted to use the money to pad the budgets of College Council and Student Programming Council.

SGA has not been sufficiently transparent regarding the deficit, leaving numerous questions unanswered about the timeline of the misallocation and their subsequent failure to correct the error. We urge SGA to keep students informed; ultimately we are the ones who will be affected most by their mistake.

First, we ask that SGS and SGA confirm a plan to compensate for the allocated funds and justify that plan to students — without unjustifiably plundering Media Council’s budget. Second, we urge the Constitutional Council and University administrators to advise SGA in this matter, and ensure that the SAF students are required to pay each year is handled responsibly. Finally, we ask that the mechanism responsible for the incorrect student population information is investigated and corrected for future years; the University must provide SGA with accurate enrollment numbers so that SGA can adjust its budget accordingly.

This situation illustrates clear gaps in communication not only within student government but also between student government and University officials. Additionally, it has revealed the astounding ease with which student government officials are able to shift vast sums of money around with almost no oversight. We need our student and administrative leaders to do better: address the over-allocation equitably and take measures to make sure it never happens again.

The Editorial Board is composed of Zach Ball, Jacob Busch, Ryan Fan, Andrew Kliewer, Madeline Lutwyche, Boris Niyonzima, Omar Obregon-Cuebas, Shreya Pabbaraju, Isaiah Sirois, Madison Stephens and Kimia Tabatabaei. Kimia Tabatabaei is a freshman legislator on College Council and recused herself from this piece.