Opinion | What does the student government do? | Part II

By Dan Kibler, Columnist

The first part of this series featured student interviews which assessed how much people knew about the Illinois Student Government. The interviews that were included in that column were those who, in some capacity, understood the role of ISG.

The following student interviews will address interviews from students who either do not know what ISG does or feel as though ISG does not do enough. 


Some of the students interviewed had no idea what ISG does.

“I don’t really know.”

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— freshman in Engineering

“I don’t know what they do, and I perceive no real impact from their end on the day-to-day lives of the students. I am pretty uninformed of their purpose which is pretty bad considering I am a senior and have been here for a long time. However, they just mean nothing to me, I basically just have apathy towards them.”

— senior in LAS

“Not entirely sure, it seems like different events and school things are impacted by it, but I don’t really feel the impact of them. Student government seems to have a big picture and not as much day to day. In four years here, I’ve maybe only noticed one major change from student government on school things.”

— senior in LAS


Others felt as though ISG does not do anything tangible to service the student body and that those participating in the organization are doing it for the benefit of having it on their resume.

“Basically nothing. Student government has no real objective or changes. It’s just for people who want to have a resume builder.”

— Matt, senior in ACES

“I’m honestly not sure, and I’m not sure if they are even capable of doing very much at the school because they don’t make the rules. Honestly, to me they seem like a bunch of role-players who run for positions and ask for votes from a bunch of people who haven’t heard of them.”

— senior in FAA

“After seeing the recent controversy within ISG over the past few years, we are deciding to run on the platform of defunding and reforming the current student government. Reviewing the past minutes and votes of the student government shows that very little is accomplished on a weekly basis, and less than half of the senators show up to votes on issues that affect our tuition and college life. The addition of controversy leads us to believe that ISG fails to properly act as a bridge between the student body and administration, yet primary roles are receiving a stipend for this lackluster performance.”

— Sam Ruggerio and Richard Liu, candidates for president and vice president of ISG who are running to weaken ISGs influence

“To my knowledge, the student government takes part in voting on important decisions for the student body. Similar to a student council in high schools, but in high school it felt like a front to make students feel like they had a part in big choices. However, at this university, I have seen or heard next to none from our own student government, so as far as I am aware they aren’t voting on much that is impactful. The last thing I remember hearing about student government was their discussion on the Kingfisher mascot change, but I’m not sure that came to much fruition. So really from my own experiences here, I feel the student government doesn’t do very much or at least inputs such minor changes that it isn’t noticeable on the University-wide scale.”

— senior in FAA

“Student government doesn’t seem to have any real purpose. Our representatives get to be mock politicians, which is nice, but a lot of this could be accomplished with an RSO. They pass meaningless resolutions with no pushback but also no implementation beyond student fees. I think less than 10% of the student body votes in the student election which feeds this powerlessness as the administration knows these representatives barely represent even a fraction of the student body. ISG makes no moves to resolve this practically and continues to drive themselves into the ground by instead focusing on infighting and becoming the headline of some controversy every year. I wonder if they do more than I think, but I have a bad feeling they don’t.” 

— graduate student in FAA


Dan is a senior in LAS.

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