Frankly, I don’t know why anybody in their right mind would care to look into the business of student government, but just in case any of you are crazy or bored enough to attempt, Patrick McEwen and Tom Templeton are looking after you. I ran into Patrick and Tom the other day. They were looking spiffy after their meeting with Rep. Mark Gottlieb, a Republican member of the Assembly Committee on Colleges and Universities. They’d been discussing proposals to subject UW student governments to open records law. Gottlieb is the author of one such bill.
As Patrick noted, a point that has been raised in advocating for more transparency in student government is the situation at UW-Milwaukee, where members of the student council refused to release their minutes to the student newspaper. Nevertheless, there are legitimate reasons to be cautious in approaching the issue, according to McEwen. His position, which I support to a certain degree, is that although governing bodies, such as ASM and SSFC, should be subject to open records requests, not all GSSF groups should be. Patrick cited PAVE – a counseling session with a student should not be open to the public. That being said, I can’t imagine that being a problem – all kinds of reasonable exceptions exist in state government as well, although sometimes the Doyle administration attempts to expand “reasonable” to unreasonable degrees.
What do you think dear reader? Can you think of any exceptions or concerns that should be raised?