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SGA member voices her own opinion

This item originally appeared in the April 14, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

Dear Editor,

Like the author of last week's letter, I also ran for an SGA executive office last year, and like him, I lost. I decided to swallow my pride and continue my involvement in SGA so that I could participate first hand in what the organization does.

This year I have served as SGA Community Service Director. I have planned several activities, including The Big Event.

Last week's article questioned whether or not students benefit from activities such as The Big Event and Homecoming. We have almost 1,100 students signed up to volunteer for The Big Event this year. Other than sporting events and concerts, I'd wager to say this is the largest gathering of students all year. Not only do the students involved benefit from volunteering, but they also benefit from the unity of every organization for a common cause that The Big Event allows.

Volunteering provides individuals with a sense of purpose and a feeling that they have done something worthwhile. I personally don't understand how anyone can argue that community service is not beneficial.

As for Homecoming, who can imagine Louisiana Tech without it? Homecoming is an American tradition. If SGA didn't put on the Homecoming activities, who would?

How sad would it be if we were the only school in the U.S. who didn't have Homecoming?

It is true that the SGA Senate has voted to put $45 worth of fee increases on the spring ballot over the last several years, but it is the student body that has voted to pass these fees. Every student has the right to vote "no" to these increases, but the students who have taken advantage of their voting rights on campus have voted "yes."

The first $20 fee increase went to buy land and to construction expenses for all of the parking lots on Everett Street, Arizona Street, and Texas Street. Every commuter on campus has probably parked in one of these lots at some time or another. The second increase of $25 raised the income of several campus organizations.

These fees had not been increased since the 1970s. It was a necessary adjustment for our school to operate on the same scale as the other state schools. This fee also allowed for the establishment of an organizational grant fund, which is available to all campus organizations.

As for the SGA by-laws and requirements for candidacy, the one requirement that eliminates a large portion of the student body is that candidates for executive office be a member of SGA in good standing. This means that the 50-plus senators, cabinet members, and Supreme Court members are eligible to run. I think this rule is only fair. You wouldn't allow someone who is not even a member of your sorority or fraternity to run for executive office. You wouldn't allow someone who is not in the band to be the drum major.

How can you expect someone who has never been in SGA to be the SGA president, vice-president, treasurer, or secretary?

Anyone who sits on the "random benches" placed on campus by SGA sees a benefit from those. So many students have taken advantage of the scantrons this year that SGA had to increase the budget set aside to buy them. Any student who has walked along the back of Dudley, Aswell, or the Visual Arts Building at night has benefited from the lights that SGA placed on those buildings. Almost every day that I am in the SGA office, a student has come in to take advantage of the free fax service. The golf cart escorts and emergency phones are also beneficial to students, not only for the fact that they provide safety, but also because they help incoming freshmen and their parents to feel that Tech is a safe place.

I'll admit that there are always good ideas sprouted during elections that get overlooked as the year goes on. As for the bus to provide safe transportation to and from bars, I think that it is a great idea. Come on though, how is SGA supposed to buy a bus, and insurance for those who drive it? Can you imagine the liability that would be associated with this? If someone can come up with a viable way to accomplish this, I say go for it!

For those students who feel that they don't see the benefits of SGA, I encourage them to notice the little things around campus. While the SGA might not be starting bus services or book swaps, they are doing plenty to benefit Louisiana Tech students. The weekly senate meetings are open to all students, and students may realize just how much SGA does do if they were to attend a meeting.

I encourage the students of Louisiana Tech to find ways to solve the problems they see with SGA or any other organization on campus. You can't expect anything to be done if you don't take the initiative to help out with it.

Jenny Quinnelly

Senior Speech Communication Major

Talking back; it is about time

This item originally appeared in the April 14, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

Dear Editor,

First off, I'd like to commend the Tech Talk. The new look is interesting. I nearly tripped over one of the missing graduation bricks in the "plaza," when I read an article that had an opinion.

Congratulations.

Doesn't it feel good to say what you really feel and observe, instead of keeping it inside so you don't offend someone?

Second off, I completely agree with Seuzeneau's letter last week. When people voted for the $25 increase, it was to help out many organizations.

One of my organizations received $3000 to help them out with their project, but what has SGA done?

Perhaps more people will get a T-shirt and there was a free concert with Union Board.

Wonderful, but you had nearly double the money as the previous year. I didn't see more activities, I saw less.

I heard promises of seeing your senators in their respected colleges weekly. I have yet to meet one of my SGA COES senators anywhere this year.

KLPI got some money. Why don't they play music outside? It isn't always the best music, but we're paying for it. If we don't like it, let's make them change it. That is how the game works.

The "Vagina Monologues" wanted to come to campus. It got pushed away because some people where offended. Welcome to the real world.

When you step outside of the Bible Belt, people say things just to piss you off or invoke a reaction. Do you think if the performance was entitled "Women get abused everyday" people would flock to the showing?

The name is meant to get attention. Ruston apparently either doesn't get it or is hiding a much larger problem. SGA should have stepped in and made sure it would stay. It is a matter of principle.

Universities are supposed to thrive on activism and opinions. If the world depended upon Ruston for new social ideas, we would still be in the 1960s.

Most social reforms start on campuses. Here people don't want to create waves, so we don't say anything.

While Student Government Association has many flaws, most people on campus could care less what they do or know anyone on SGA.

I would think for $50,000 a quarter, we could get more out of SGA than that. From what I have seen from the $20,000-a-quarter increase, I think they should give it back.

I could better spend my $2 contribution on a drink from the Bookstore.

Where is that book-swap? There are still signs in Bogard about it. I think the Bookstore needs pressure to better serve us.

There is a reason many students buy and sell their books on the Internet. My shipping costs help keep stamps at 37 cents. The extra 20 percent the Bookstore gets goes who knows where.

In my opinion, SGA needs to be seen and heard. They need to promote opinions and truth. If you ever lived in the dorm, you have heard about the many crimes on campus (theft, stalkers, burglary, people breaking into dorms, rapes, etc.) at the first dorm meeting. I never read about any of those events in The Tech Talk.

Where else am I supposed to find out? The numbers on the Police Website are statistics not incident reports.

Finally, why am I not allowed to write for The Tech Talk? I'm a student.

Other campuses have flourishing student papers with open admission policies (provided you can write). If my grade depended upon my writing and opinions, I would still state what I like. Complacency sucks. Ruston is superficial enough; let us break LTU out of that rut.

Nicholas Judice

Senior Mechanical Engineering Major

President -- ASHRAE, SAE, La Tech Cycling

Not hiring Harper may be mistake

This item originally appeared in the April 14, 2005 issue of The Tech Talk.

Dear Editor,

Ever since I heard the news about Kurt Budke leaving Tech, my interests into the women's basketball program was piqued, just as it was in the mid-'90s when I had season tickets and I attended all of the home games to watch some of the best women's basketball in the nation. I've read almost every article about the coaching vacancy and have intensively kept up with the names that were popping up to fill Budke's shoes.

Just about every article I read had Chris Long as being the leading candidate for the coaching job. Initially I found this to be typical of Tech and its biased attitude toward hiring from within the program, but my hopes were that they would find the best candidate for the job, which I believe they did not do.

I felt as though Kellie Harper, the other leading candidate for the job, was more worthy of the position. In all of the articles I read about the coaching vacancy, I have seen some form of Chris Long's resume in every one of them; furthermore, I hardly ever saw any details of Kellie Harper's resume. So since I believe she deserved the job, I will share her resume with you and let you decide who deserved the job.

First and foremost while Chris Long was coaching high school basketball, Kellie Harper was leading Tennessee (arguably the best women's basketball program in the nation) to 3 consecutive national championships in 1996, 1997, and 1998 at point guard. During her college career, she earned the Gloria Ray Leadership Award voted by her teammates, the "Strength and Conditioning Female Athlete of the Year" award by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, as well as the Coaches Award voted by her staff (her staff included Pat Summitt, arguably the best college coach, male or female, in the nation).

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in mathematics and being a three-time academic all-SEC honoree, she spent two years on the Auburn staff where she quickly moved from administrative assistant the first year to assistant coach the second year. She then went on to be an assistant coach at Chattanooga for 3 years where she helped lead the Lady Mocs to a 29-3 overall record in 2004, and was a part of the first SoCon women's basketball team to ever win an NCAA tournament game over Rutgers. She then moved on to her first head coaching position at Western Carolina where she led them to their first ever conference title and the school's first ever appearance in the NCAA tournament.

In my opinion, she is a star on the rise. She was a star player in college, has done great things with smaller programs thus far, has very good coaching credentials on and off the court, has great character, is very smart, and she learned how to coach the game under Pat Summitt. Not to mention there has been an excess amount of great women's basketball coaches lately that were former point guards in college such as Kim-Mulkey Robertson (Baylor), Pokey Chatham (LSU), and Dawn Staley (Temple). All I know about Chris Long is that he played high school basketball, coached high school basketball, and was a six-year assistant at Tech. For some reason Tech has this big ego when it comes to loyalty and hiring from within the program.

Who knows, Long may turn out to be a great coach, and I hope he does. However, I feel that if Harper wanted the job (which I think she did, otherwise she wouldn't have applied), she should have gotten it despite the loyalty card. I just hope Tech didn't pass up another former point guard, the other being Kim Mulkey-Robertson, that goes on to excel as a terrific head coach of another program.

Kane McGuire

Junior Political Science Major


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