University Sponsored Organization Issues Student Government Endorsements

November 14, 2018

 

The Trinity Diversity Connection, a University Sponsored Organization (USO), sent out an email on Saturday endorsing candidates for the Student Government Association. The email gave no criteria for the endorsements.

 

The endorsements are boosted by TDC’s close connection to the administration. USOs are different from Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) primarily in that USOs receive annual student activity fee based on yearly budget proposals rather than individual event funding requests, tax-exempt status and legal protection. The university assigns full-time staff members to direct USOs, whereas RSOs are entirely student-run, with varying degrees of faculty advisor involvement.

 

For TDC, that full-time director is Alli Roman, the director of Diversity and Inclusion. Roman did not respond to requests for comment about the endorsements.

 

While neither the SGA Constitution nor bylaws explicitly prohibit USO endorsements, the SGA is intended to advocate for student interests and remain as independent as possible from faculty interference. An endorsement from a USO carries disproportionate weight because USOs are backed by faculty. Furthermore, TDC is a political USO, making the endorsement especially inappropriate.

 

 

Editor’s Note: Criticism of TDC's endorsement of candidates should not be construed as criticism of the candidates themselves. The Wendt does not endorse candidates in any race, including Student Government. 

 

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