|All Sources > The Manitou Messenger (DA-MM) > The Manitou Messenger (1916-2014) > 1969 > No. 20, Vol. 82|
New parl system seeks issue interested people
Author: John Cavert
Impressed by the organization and success of the recent October 15 Moratorium, parliament has discarded its former system of regularly scheduled assemblies on Tuesday nights. It has innovated a new non-system, whose goal according to treasurer Terry Yarger is "to get interested students working on issues."
Toward implementing the new system, four meetings open to any and all students have been planned for this week. Parliament members may still participate in any of the four issue-areas. However, the assumption is that parliament members might not necessarily be the interested students which are wanted. Parliament will only meet as a total body when requests for financing arise.
The first open meeting will discuss the issue of "Student Transportation." Scheduled for 7:00 on Tuesday, it will convene in science center 280. "Educational Reforms and Planning" is the second problem area to be analyzed. Interested students should gather in chapel 101 at 7:00 on Wednesday.
Immediately following the second discussion will be a consideration of the third issue. "Student Housing." This meeting is set for 8:00 on Wednesday. "Community Assembly" will be deliberated upon last. Those who are concerned should go to science center 280 at 7 :00 on Thursday.
For those who are still confused, the just-forming system of student government is the explanation for the proliferation of signs declaring "I Am Curious (Olaf)." According to Dave Ericson, head of the parliament publications subcommittee, the development is "a new way of getting things done at St. Olaf." The goal is "to get better communication with students."
Analyzing the basis for the new move, Ericson commented recently that "Parliament has been concerned all year in what role it has at the school in the power structure. Parliament decided it had power and it was hoped that the new swing would carry more weight than parliament ever has had."
Parliament's previous role at St. Olaf was criticized by Ericson. Noted Ericson. "Parliament occupied a farcical position. It was a popularity contest and a debating society that did nothing."
The modus operandi of the new system is to "provide deep studies of the issues." This is "the aim and hope" stated Ericson. Students attending the issue-area meetings will delve into the topics and present their findings to the faculty committees. Parliament funds will be available "for any students who are interested in working on a specific issue."
The workings of the new student government system were evaluated as "a way of ending student apathy by putting in people who care about issues." The new operations will be more advantageous with regard to the power structure, said Ericson, because "we desire to keep open the lines of communication with the faculty on specific issues."
Parliament's old methods will still be kept partly intact. Three subcommittees of parliament will still be active. Heading the Publications subcommittee is Dave Ericson and in charge of the Publicity subcommittee is Terry Yarger. The third subcommittee is that of Student-Faculty Relations, under Dave Nyquist. "Issue groups could use the first two facilities for taking polls," added Ericson, "while the last group is a very essential part of our over-all program."
Also still remaining intact is the steering committee or executive committee. Its purpose is "to oversee the subcommittees and to provide suggestions and help." Members of this group will be the officers of the student body, plus some of the students from each of the faculty committees.
Ericson warned that "there are no specific issues. Any student can go into a new issue on any subject." A major problem is built into the recently created non-system. "Should the new system not work, the direction of student government will be left up in the air. It might not even function any longer if students aren't interested."
The results of the campus-wide student opinion poll were analyzed last Thursday night. The poll was undertaken "to get an idea of what students felt were the most important issues and how they felt about them"