Dear Mr. Editor,
As a former Staff Writer for The Tiger, I know that that accuracy and fairness are guiding tenets of the publication. When I read The Tiger, I expect articles to exhibit the same level of integrity as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or Time Magazine. I expect the aptitude of writers at The Tiger to be on par with the greatest levels of professionalism because here at Hampden-Sydney we value a rhetoric program which strives to ensure that students can write clearly, convincingly, and grammatically. With this in mind, Guest Writer Greg Robinson ’15, reported in the last edition of The Tiger that the Student Senate has a plan to enforce campus-wide cleanups on the weekends. I spoke to Mr. Robinson briefly before the article was published, but there is a great deal of information that I believe the article purports incorrectly and which should be addressed.
First, I must plainly state that the Student Senate has no plan to enforce campus-wide cleanups on weekends. More than any other time in past, the Student Senate has committed to being transparent and informing the student body on any course of action we pursue on its behalf. The goals of the Senate currently include a proposal for a Medical Amnesty Policy, participation in the redrafting of the College’s bylaws, improving campus technology available to students, collaborating on the implementation of a new college homepage, working with the Downtown Farmville organization to attract more college students, and working with organizations to increase their long-term sustainability and participation on campus. Over the next few weeks, we will also begin meeting with architects to discuss the implementation of a student center in Eggleston Hall. If all goes well, the Student Senate will host an open forum meeting in Crawley Forum next week to solicit student input on how to use the space.
Mr. Robinson’s article intended on reporting on the college policies that regulate themed housing – specifically, the Student Senate’s role when it comes to morning lawn cleanups after an event. At the moment there are few guidelines that govern themed housing besides those policies which govern all residence life and which the organization originally agreed to in a proposal with the Associate Dean of Students and Student Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee is interested in finding a way to get repeat offenders who violate their theme housing agreement to act appropriately with the property entrusted to them. The College reserves the right to revoke an organization’s occupancy at any time due to inappropriate behavior or failure to satisfy the obligations that the group originally agreed to. The Student Senate may also levy social closings or other measures on a themed house if an organization violates college policies frequently or if the Senate is asked to intervene by the Dean of Students.
Mr. Robinson’s article made me realize that while we have come a long way, Student Government at Hampden-Sydney College should still be more transparent. We are committed to finding ways to inform everyone of the great deal of work that goes on behind the scenes. Student Senate meetings always occur every Tuesday night in Blake A at 7 PM (unless otherwise stated) and they are always open to the public. In the past, students have attended Senate meetings to lobby for concerns regarding anything from laundry fees to fire codes to a vast number of other grievances. Public participation; however, has significantly decreased. Therefore, it can be difficult to disseminate information.
Frederick L. Antoine ’14
Chairman of the Student Senate