SGA scholarships not ethical

Three Student Government Association members will receive $1,200 in scholarships to encourage student involvement, according to the bill passed Monday. However, the bill, which passed by a 19-8 vote, presents some ethical issues.The $24 students pay each semester will be used in part to finance the education of SGA members. As it is, SGA fees are not optional. And now it seems that the SGA scholarships are coming out of students’ pockets without their consent.

However, not all SGA members are in favor of the new bill. Jace Thompson, student body president, said the vote underwent much debate.

Thompson said not every member of SGA feels it is SGA’s job to use students’ money to benefit House members.

In giving its members scholarships, SGA is creating a conflict of interest. Any scholarships given to SGA members should be awarded after the current members have left the House. Otherwise, the serving members are, in essence, passing bills in their own interests. Putting the bill into effect after a new round of members enter the House would eliminate any bias.

However, students should also have a say in how their tuition dollars are being spent. Awarding scholarships with students’ money without consent doesn’t seem decent.

Furthermore, awarding scholarships to SGA members is not fair to the other student groups on campus that do not have the same benefits. In the past, SGA members received thank-you notes or gift cards to praise members for the efforts, Thompson said. And there’s nothing wrong with the old system.

The idea of honoring dedicated SGA members for their hard work and assisting with their tuition is fine. This issue comes when students’ already high tuition is going to finance someone else’s education. If SGA wants scholarships for its members, it should find another way to raise the funds.

Opinion editor Lindsey Bever for the editorial board.