Letter to the Editor: Recent RSA events got poor News coverage – none

The purpose of the Resident Student Association (RSA), as stated in their constitution, is to “serve as the official liaison between the students living in Northeastern University residence halls and the staff and administration of the Department of Residence Life; to act as a programming organization to the students living in NU residence halls; to strive to make NU residence halls a continually more serviceable and livable community; to be the liaison between and act in an advisory capacity to the resident students and the staff and administration of University offices in matters pertaining to NU residence halls; to be the means by which the Resident Activity Fee is distributed; and to be the means by which the residence population affiliates itself with the National Association of College and University Residence Halls, Inc.”

What average student at Northeastern knows this? Before reading this, what average student at Northeastern University knew what RSA stood for? What average student knows much about any student group aside from SGA?

I firmly believe the scarcity of a presence is not due to lack of effort by student groups. Actually, RSA is continuously advertising (via club cards, the Internet, t-shirts, prizes, co-sponsorship, sponsoring movies during Orientation, Orientation Express, etc.) for recruitment and retention purposes, as well as to promote programming.

I believe the lack of a presence by many student groups on campus is due to a lack of news coverage.

It seems as though the only time a student group receives adequate news coverage is in the midst of a scandal. For example, Sigma Sigma Sigma and Pi Kappa Alpha hosted a charitable teeter-totter-a-thon in Krentzman Quad during fall semester. However, this event received little or no press coverage because Phi Gamma Pi had a party broken up that same weekend.

RSA received plenty of news coverage when Elliot Inz resigned as Vice President for Finance during the summer 2005, but where was the news coverage regarding RSA’s first Midnight BBQ, or Condom Casino? Both the Midnight BBQ in December and Condom Casino in March were wildly successful. Actually, the BBQ was so popular, despite the cold, that RSA ran out of food within the first hour and Condom Casino was the most successful it’s ever been, with over 600 students trying to “get lucky” during Sex Week 2006. However, neither event was deemed newsworthy.

Perhaps the reason those events, like countless others, were not considered newsworthy because they were not planned and executed by the Student Government Association (SGA). Please do not misunderstand me, SGA has done many great things for the student body and I am not trying to undermine that; but SGA is only one of more than 140 student groups! In last week’s issue of The Northeastern News, there were five articles about SGA; in contrast, there were a mere three articles pertaining to other student groups. Two articles were about CUP (rightfully so, with the onset of Springfest) and one was about RSA elections. Now imagine how many articles pertaining to student groups could have been in last week’s News had they been in the midst of Benson-Cooper-gate.

As a student leader, I find The News’ laissez-faire attitude in regard to its fellow student groups to be very disheartening. Why should student groups continue to plan events, pass legislation and try to enhance the “college experience” if the only coverage they’re going to get is going to come from the partying they’re doing rather than the fact that they are trying to better themselves, others and fellow students? So I ask you, Northeastern News, what do I have to do to have RSA events covered (despite a press release and a member of The News staff present at weekly meetings) short of jumping ship to SGA, resigning or getting caught throwing a party in my on-campus apartment? Because apparently, that’s all that’s deemed “newsworthy” these days.

– Caitlin Campana is a middler business and marketing major and the Resident Student Association’s Vice President for Programming.

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