The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Student Council remains inactive toward student concerns

A formal stance must be taken on the BSA’s recent list of demands

<p>Student groups gathered on the rotunda steps on Monday to read off their list of demands in the wake of the recent violent white supremacist demonstrations.</p>

Student groups gathered on the rotunda steps on Monday to read off their list of demands in the wake of the recent violent white supremacist demonstrations.

On Monday, the Black Student Alliance, in partnership with other University groups, presented and read a list of demands to hundreds of students and community members who gathered to protest the recent white nationalist demonstrations. The list of demands includes specific initiatives, such as the removal of Confederate plaques on the Rotunda and the enactment of a “strategic and actionable diversity plan.” Much of the pressure to initiate these changes has fallen on Student Council, which has remained predictably inactive and irresolute toward the list of demands. As the primary embodiment of student self-governance on Grounds, it is frustrating that Student Council has failed to address — much less come to a decision on — such a prominent concern for students.

During a recent student town hall, Student Council President Sarah Kenny stated that they had “not yet taken adequate time to read the list of demands and discuss them as a group.” Yes, that’s correct. With their incredibly busy schedules, the Student Council Executive Board has not been able to allocate sufficient time to read and discuss a 10-item list. This delay is especially disconcerting given that similar versions of the demands have been circulating for at least a week. The Representative Body will not even vote on whether or not to support the demands until next week. Such slow attention by Student Council toward the demands of one of the biggest student organizations on Grounds should not be overlooked. Student Council should be committed to serve as a voice of the students, by the students and for the students. Failing to take a timely stance on the demands proposed by the BSA goes against this commitment.

If Student Council wishes to change its reputation of inaction, they should act quickly and decisively — not slowly and evasively. While the Student Council has no obligation to pursue every proposed initiative, they do have a responsibility to listen and directly address the concerns of students; particularly when the University has failed to do so. This includes taking a definitive stance on the BSA’s list of demands and, if they decide to, leading the charge of implementing any changes. Regardless of the ultimate decision, it is the responsibility of the Student Council to put an end to their deference toward questions of vital importance.