Transparency in our country, state, local and school government has been on our minds a lot lately here at The Spectator.
Last weekend, The Spectator staff, along with journalism and mass media students attended a workshop about transparency between the media and our government. The goal of this workshop was to ensure that as we grow as members of the media, we hold our government accountable for the sake of the citizens who are the true owners of the government.
On Monday, one of the members of The Spectator staff was removed from a Student Government Association meeting, along with everyone else in attendance who was not part of SGA, for an executive session. The Spectator has requested the minutes from this session, which SGA is legally obligated to provide, but SGA has yet to comply with the request.
It is important to remember that the student body of VSU elected the SGA executive board to be the liaisons between the students and VSU administrators, and to do this there needs to be complete clarity between the two parties as to what happens behind closed doors. We at The Spectator feel that the lack of transparency in our SGA could be detrimental to the relationship between students, SGA, and all media on our campus if this continues.
We are troubled that as student journalists we are having the same issues with SGA that our professional counterparts have with federal, state, and local government. However, this challenge has only fueled our desire to work for VSU students and bring transparency back into the Valdosta State community.
It is unfortunate that The Spectator has not covered SGA as frequently this semester as we have in the past; however, SGA does not seem to be fulfilling their obligations to the students currently either.
With this incident and our newfound dedication to transparency, The Spectator pledges to be the eyes and ears for the student body for the foreseeable future.