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Monday, Mar 4, 2024
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Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

Students of Mercer have been in uproar about the recent SGA article written by Gene Mitchell. It seems that even the SGA board themselves have felt appalled at the accusations Mitchell writes about. Mitchell’s article had quite a few arguments break out in the comments on the Cluster website. Many of those arguments harshly accused and attacked Mitchell in the same way he had named and accused certain SGA officers.
Mitchell wrote how a few freshmen SGA members seem unqualified for the job as leaders and organizers of the freshmen class. This may be true because as he says, even though a person may be nice, does not mean they will be the best leaders.
Mitchell’s mistake in his writing was that he actually named people in SGA. Yes, I know it could be argued as something to be expected; if you run for office, get ready to have people criticize you. The problem here though of naming SGA officers is that Mitchell would still have to cooperate and work with the members. It’s hard to continue to be cordial to someone who has you out to dry in the campus newspaper.
Another problem Mitchell points out is how little interest students seem to hold for SGA. This could mean a whole mess of entangled problems later on if we don’t change. Only five candidates are running for junior class senator and senator-at-large. It’s scary to see that only five candidates are running which means, they are each guaranteed the open five positions. From reading the article comments online, students only seemed to care about the insults Mitchell tossed throughout his writing. Somebody even made a meme about Mitchell eating other SGA members. No one wrote a comment about the actual problems with SGA.
I believe we are missing the big picture here. Instead of bashing Mitchell for his mistake, students need to focus in on why Mitchell would write such an article. SGA needs more support from Mercer students. It amazed me how passionately readers reacted to Mitchell’s writing. People definitely had no hesitation to defend their SGA officers. But, when I asked a few people to suggest ideas for how to improve SGA, or even what they currently approved of SGA, no one had much to say.
So, the problem I see is that Mercer students do not get involved enough with SGA. They pull out excuses such as, their vote doesn’t matter, or that they don’t have enough time for it, or even that SGA just flat out seems boring to them. Here’s the truth: each vote does count, students have to make time for it, and SGA is student organized, so it can become whatever the student body chooses.
Mercer students have shown through those comments that they have passion and energy. That passion just needs to be channeled toward improving SGA. If students can react to one article about SGA so intensely, than they definitely have the potential to be that passionate about SGA itself.

-Erica O’Neal


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