The .5 solution

Jason Okamoto

What makes me qualified be a writer for The State Hornet? What makes me so special that I can verbally vomit on a page which will be published for several thousand people to be read every other week?

Not once have I ever been academically checked or tested in regards to my feeble yet honorable position as a staff writer. However, all organizations are not the same.

Last Wednesday, Associated Students Inc. voted to place a rules change on the upcoming May ballot that would lower the required semester GPA for a Board Member from a 2.5 to a 2.0.

According to the legislation, the current bylaw excludes 5,830 students out of 20,706 undergrads from running for a position on the Board. This is a little more than a quarter of the students on campus.

Any Average Joe like me who meets the GPA requirement can run for an ASI position, but then again I do not have the desire or focus to.

However, I am sure that there are some students who are motivated a passion to better our school through the Student Government system. Who is to say that someone with under a 2.5 GPA can’t make a great leader?

One student on campus may have a 4.0 while another might have a 2.0. But which is better? The student with a 4.0 that doesn’t give a crap about Sacramento State, and is only using A-S-I for his or her R-E-S-U-M-E, or the 2.0 student who truly cares about the well-being of students, present and future.

Most of the current Board Members are for the change.Director of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies, Christina Andrade, says, “We aren’t lowering our standards; it (the resolution) is just trying to take stress off of our leaders who may be having a bad semester.”

Director of Business, Jennifer Plescia, says, “I place value in a good GPA, but at the same time if one (Board Member) puts so much energy to ASI, their efforts shouldn’t be completely nullified if they don’t meet the 2.5 requirement.”

Also, “If athletes are only expected to achieve a 2.0, then why shouldn’t anybody else who represents this campus?”

And what’s wrong with allowing a little room for error, even in our student government?

After all, no one’s perfect.

But on the other hand maybe the members of the Associated Students should be closer to perfect than me or you?

“There is no need to lower the standards,” Vice President of Finance Peter Ucovich says. “I think that the leaders of this campus should be expected to do better than the bare minimum.”I would also like to think that the person representing my major is going to actually end up graduating with a degree in that major. It wouldn’t feel right if the Board member representing me (more or less) couldn’t score equal or better on class exams.

I, for one, would propose a new resolution for ASI elections. Why not force the most “average” students in each major to run for office? A humble person with the most average GPA, who spends the most average time on campus, and who looks the most average.

That’s the person that I want to see in office.

Maybe ASI is too drenched in excellence that they have failed to see the needs of the mediocre student?

They might even want to enforce a maximum GPA limit, stating that no straight “A” student should be allowed to run for office.

Regardless of what I might think, it is up to you, the students, to decide if .5 of a semester’s GPA even makes a difference. For someone who has had his share of sub par semesters, I can empathize.

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