Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Editorial (that will never see the light of day)

Submitted to the Daily Universe re the flaccid state of BYUSA:

To the Editor:

A few of the recent responses concerning the latest BYUSA election have lamented the lack of student interest and involvement, and suggest that with more participation the organization could be fixed. Sadly, they are wrong. BYUSA is already overly "fixed" -- like my dog. All the involvement, money, and veterinarians in the world could not make my Labrador capable of siring pups. Similarly, BYUSA is a completely emasculated organization, unable to produce anything substantive. That is not meant as an indictment; it is merely the nature of the beast.

BYUSA is not a student government; they do not govern. They cannot effect change; they have no leverage with the administration because they derive their authority from the administration. They have no significant autonomy.

Thus, if students want to apply pressure to change policy, they must do it at the "grass-roots" level. For instance, do you think BYU Bookstore charges too much for text books? (Who doesn't?) Then organize a program or website that publishes booklists earlier so students can buy them cheaply online; arrange for students to advertise directly to other students the books they need to sell, eliminating Bookstore involvement.

Students can, in fact, be the agents of improvement at BYU, but they ought to understand the power dynamics behind the bureaucracy, which is by nature resistant to change. The only leverage they can bring to bear is making it less uncomfortable to change than it is to maintain the status quo.


If it gets published, I'll be quite surprised. And pleased.

2 comments:

Ash said...

Nick, Nick, Nick! You my friend, crack me up!

Ash said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.