Sitting on council over this past year has been very emotional for me, and has left me with many conflicting feelings about our union and the council that governs it.
One thing I dislike very much about council is the sheep-like mentality of my fellow councillors. I don’t know whether it is better described as indifference or aloofness. Many councillors seem to mindlessly vote ‘yes’ to whatever the executive proposes without any sort of critical analysis of the proposal. This is a huge problem because in my mind one of the most important functions of council is to act as a check to the executive. Frankly, council is not capable of holding the executive responsible for its actions.
The executive’s habit of attempting to steamroll over any and all obstacles, be it either dissent or concerns brought forward or by council, or our members, made many members and councillors uncomfortable. The executive was inflexible and unwilling to change the direction that they had laid out for the MASU over the course of the year. Frequently, when councillors opposed a decision the executive made, executive members raised their voices, rolled their eyes, or committed some other act, voluntary or involuntary. This has the effect of intimidating or shaming councillors into submission, although, to be fair, not every councillor is quieted by this action.
Lastly, there is a culture of ideas and policy being generated almost entirely by the executive. A group of predominately right-wing individuals from privilege who have made our union—an association with the objective to protect and further the rights and interests of the Mt. A students—a corporation. A not-for-profit organization that turns a profit annually and whose executive members for the past two years have decided to increase their compensation while students struggle financially.
Next year, I have decided to hold the position of president of Harper Hall instead of trying to get re-elected to council.