Consensus: The Gambit

Recently, Undergraduate Student Body President Eran Mordel made an initial vote in favor of supporting of casino gambling in the state of Georgia for the purposes of funding higher education, specifically the HOPE scholarship. While the intent to support HOPE is meaningful, the method by which the President initially expressed support for legalized gambling is unacceptable.

The biggest problem with supporting casino gambling with the Student Advisory Council (SAC) is the lack of communication with the student body. When SGA investigated whether to support an concealed carry policy on Tech’s campus, an issue just as divisive as legalized gambling, student body opinion was sought: well-attended open forums were held in which students were able to voice their opinions. No such feedback was requested from students or the UHR prior to expressing support, shutting out the student body.

SGA leaders are elected to advocate for students on issues relevant to campus (such as concealed carry on campus), not comment on unrelated political issues, especially ones like casino gambling. The decision to mute the student body is antithetical to this. Instead of engaging students to develop opinions and to shape policy at the campus and state level, Mordel has represented the student body on his own, in this case, in favor of casino gambling.

While part of advocacy for Tech students is looking for solutions to campus issues, this does not give SGA leadership carte blanche to hastily jump at potential solutions to issues. In this case, voicing support for casino gambling does not solve the core issue, but rather expresses, for the student body, a political opinion unrelated to issues important to students. SGA does not exist to be the voice of state politics on campus and should not act as such outside of Tech’s campus.