Editorial: University should not rely only on ASG to gather student input

The Daily Northwestern Editorial Board

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The Daily published an article last Friday recapping what the Associated Student Government has done so far this quarter and how it communicates those efforts. For several reasons, including a delay in appointing a public relations position, much of its work has gone unrecognized.

The Daily fears that another component of the lack of publicity is an under-representation of the student body. This was a concern raised last quarter when then-ASG president Claire Lew (SESP ‘11) proposed legislation to restructure the Senate. The proposal was never passed.

In light of that, ASG assumes an even greater burden to make sure its existing structure does everything it can to incorporate the myriad student voices on campus.
Similarly, The Daily hopes NU administrators recognize that though important, ASG may not actually represent the student body.

In an interview with The Daily on Thursday, President Morton Schapiro called ASG the “eyes and ears of the undergraduates” and stressed how seriously the administration takes the group’s role, especially in terms of representing the student body.
“I sure hope they (ASG) represent the rest of the students, because I certainly treat them as if they do,” he said.

The Daily acknowledges how difficult it is for any governing body to represent its constituents. But when there has been a disconnect as apparent as the one represented by the delay in appointing a public relations official, both administrators and ASG should be wary of claiming sufficient student representation.