7
gjsman
21d

I'm at my Community College as a member of the engineering club requesting funds for a software and hardware-related physical project.

The code was mostly pre-written in Python from a university already, but we needed to build essentially a gaming-level PC to run it, do some welding and metalwork for the hardware, cables, et citera. I don't want to get too detailed in case anyone involved is reading this story.

To get funding, we needed to go before the student senate. I didn't go the first time, but later when we needed more funding for the project to do expansions, we attended.

I came in with a few pages of documentation explaining how the project operated, it's scope, and why we needed the additional $500 on top of the previous $1000 or so spent. I went in woefully behind the times on what a student senate meeting was like.

For starters, I thought this would be somewhat formal, being "Student Senate" in Week 8, and prepared to defend my project fully. Instead, we spent the first 15 minutes going around the table explaining what animal we would be and why, if we had to turn into an animal. It just kept going hilariously, painfully downhill from there.

They did ask some questions about what my project was and how it operated (as not many had seen it), and they wanted explanations even though it was clear absolutely nobody else in the room understood anything. My partner virtually shut down and let me do all the talking for my project and his because he couldn't take the ignorance of some of the questions and the assorted nonsense spread throughout the meeting.

Amazingly, we got funding. We had to sit for the rest of the meeting though, which (among other things) included a segment about whether we should create a new committee called the "Fundamental Insecurities committee" to help out with, well, "Fundamental Insecurities." There was only one member on this proposed committee.

When I brought up the question on why we were making a one-person committee alongside the, like, three one-person committees already in existence, they congratulated me for asking good questions and said I should come more often. They then said the exact same thing again when I pointed out there were better names than "Fundamental Insecurities." It's such a reality check that you are trying to impress people to get funding, when you can't help but feel that everyone is an utter idiot in the back of your head.

Almost a year later, I had to go back with a list of parts we needed. I wrote a whole complex list of things we needed for the project. Even though they tried to ask questions about what certain parts were (to appear like they weren't totally incompetent), and despite asking questions about a bunch of the items, nobody cared about what the $10 for "C418" was (google it if you don't get this joke). I spent about 30 minutes talking with them and succeeded in getting $600 more in funding. We then, to my surprise, spent less than 5 minutes debating whether to send 2 students on a field trip for $700. 30 minutes for $600, for a permanently installed project. <5 minutes for a $700 one-time thing.

And, because this is already a long rant, here's one more thing: The Student Senate's voting rules initially gave everyone who showed up 1 vote. We're all students, we all get a say, right?

Well, I soon put together that Student Senate had fairly low attendance. Engineering Club had high attendance. Student Senate and Engineering Club took place at the same date and time. I then, of course, asked why we couldn't bring the whole Engineering Club into Senate one day, and then proceed to pass an order by simple majority saying that all Student Life funding goes to us.

They then said that the administrators (the heads of Student Senate) could override that, but I pointed out that kind of defeats the purpose of voting in the first place. They then switched script and said they wouldn't do that and would honor such a vote. Shortly after, they changed the rules saying that you only get a vote on your 2nd consecutive visit; and again said I should visit more often because I was brilliant.

You can't make this stuff up.

Comments
  • 0
    Student government is often more like what you imagine elementary school government would be like ;)
  • 0
    Still better than a corrupt network of student governments that spans across the biggest universities in the country, where only friends get into position and research money is effectively distributed among them.
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