The Mesquite Online News - Texas A&M University-San Antonio

Editorial: To slam or not to slam?

Illustration by Melody Mendoza

By The Mesquite Editorial Board

It seems like every week now, members of the Mesquite Editorial Board are contemplating whether to slam an entity of Texas A&M-San Antonio for not doing enough, or to commend them for their part in establishing a successful and growing member of The Texas A&M System.

The source of our dilemma is that while we are a startup institution, we question whether we should be further along. At the same time, it takes years to set a foundation.

We consider all these angles when putting forth an editorial viewpoint.

On the one hand, these entities — administrators, faculty, staff and students — can make the justification that the University is a startup institution, which is changing frequently, understaffed, and a commuter campus with campus locations 10 miles apart.

On the other hand, students are not benefitting from excuses that result in last-minute communication efforts and lack of organization.

When do the justifications become invalid excuses? How many years and buildings later will it take for A&M-San Antonio to be an established university?

As journalists, we’re responsible for seeking the truth and reporting it, whether bad news or good.

But in recent days, we’ve come together questioning the ethics of holding a University accountable at the beginning stages of development.

Although many perceive journalists as monstrous people just seeking to catch someone in an act so they can make a name for themselves, The Mesquite strives to practice ethical, educated journalism in the pursuit of truth. The kind of journalism that we learn in our classes — balanced, two-sided, and circumspect — and put into action each day at this student-run publication.

Our current question is whether to call out Student Government Association elections, one entity that has displayed the most recent example of disarray.

Online voting was Sept. 24-27 for SGA candidates. SGA President Melissa Quintanilla and Vice President Javier Carvajal took over elections this week. The two leaders ran uncontested on a single ballot. Other SGA members are expected to be announced Friday. Read more

The Mesquite Editorial Board’s consideration this week was to question the length of time it took to announce SGA members. Why would this task take eight days if voting was done online and results are immediately given?

Before the board decided to go forth and “slam” SGA, we considered other factors: Former SGA President Zaira Rodriguez, Master of International Business student, and Adviser Jolene Des Roches, director of student life and wellness, showed collaborative leadership by organizing and training new SGA candidates.

To make it more difficult for them, A&M-San Antonio is so young it lacks traditions we can rely on. In other words, it has no institutional memory and maybe should rely on other established members of the A&M System for guidance. Those campus community leaders who do are often rewarded with support.

Considering these justifications, when will they become invalid?

Disorganization still lingered from the previous SGA elections last semester. Originally, elections were scheduled to be each spring semester, but because of similar complications last semester, they were postponed.

Now again this semester, elections were unorganized, not well planned and, to the students’ disadvantage, not hyped or made a priority.

SGA had flyers on all bulletin boards at Main and Brooks campuses and an announcement on the digital boards. Candidates also used the bulletin boards to pin up posters and announced it on Facebook.

But it doesn’t look like students got the memo. The Mesquite reported Sept. 27 that many students had little knowledge about elections. Read more

The Mesquite suggests that one thing was missing through all of this: faces. Has Facebook really become the actual face of this generation?

Candidates could have organized forums, relied on professors who supported their goals, met with students and offered to speak at an event. If we did all these things we could stop calling ourselves a startup and simply call ourselves …. Texas A&M University-San Antonio, where the tradition began.

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