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Letter: SGA senator reacts

Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

On Feb. 13, the Editorial Board of The Diplomatic Envoy published an opinion piece criticizing the SGA Diplomacy Senators’ decision to abstain from a bill on undocumented immigrants. The Diplomatic Envoy had every right to criticize their elected senators with regards to this bill brought before the SGA senate.

For the sake of transparency, let me tell you why I am writing to you today.

The two and a half years as a writer for The Envoy were a definite highlight of my college career.  The writing tips that the editors gave me, along with the fact that I was working with some of the best writers on campus, are aspects that I will never forget.

However, the month after the passing of the bill made me question not only The Envoy’s journalistic integrity, but also my position within it.

For starters, it was petty and unfortunate that a respected student paper chose to sacrifice this integrity by deciding to state in the article’s URL, since redacted, that I and my fellow SGA senator were an “embarrassment” to our own school.

Moreover, why did The Diplomatic Envoy wait nine months to criticize our records as senators and where were they during that time challenging us?

Also, where were they when a majority of the senate body recently voted against a bill that would’ve abolished the ROTC senate seat?  A seat, I should say, that represents several Diplomacy students in uniform.

The Envoy stated in this piece that our positions in SGA were just for “a line on their resumes,” but couldn’t we say the same about you as a result of your silence before the passing of the DACA bill?

Ever since the opinion piece was published, I thought I would hear ridicule from my constituents.  However, it turned into the exact opposite; ridicule for the paper that was supposed to keep us honest and challenge us. A paper that was supposed to be above reproach.

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Just because my fellow Diplomacy Senator and I didn’t actively hear the concerns of our constituents, as we should have been, doesn’t mean that we sat on our hands during our entire terms.

As a member of Finance Committee for two years and assistant to the Treasurer for the past semester, Senator Roma has learned greatly about the financial process of student government and this is why I believe he will make a fantastic treasurer for the upcoming year.

Spearheading an initiative praising students, faculty, clubs, and organizations with congratulatory letters, dubbed “Happy Letters,” has narrowed the bridge between them and SGA in recognizing their valuable contributions to the Seton Hall community.  I do hope that my fellow senators carry on my wonderful initiative going into the next academic year.

With election season soon coming to a close, my message is simple: Accept criticism from those that challenge us and keep us honest and transparent.  However, for those that wish to go below the line, turn it around and rise above it.

Matthew Schaller

Seton Hall University Class of 2017


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