Rady, Strickland have notable accomplishments, but questionable priorities

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Student Government President Kori Rady and Vice President Taylor Strickland released an update Monday on their accomplishments since taking office. 

The address, which is available to view on the Texas Student Television YouTube channel, clocks in at just under two minutes but packs a potent, if at times misdirected, punch. The pair start by boasting about their accomplishments with increased branding on campus. As Strickland gleefully puts it, they want to make sure “you see burnt orange everywhere on campus.” 

This seems like a waste of time to us. School spirit for these two is the name of the game, but leading with it is an imprudent use of the University’s time and money when there are more important issues to tackle.

Luckily, the two get to some of these issues in due course. From their dilettantish dalliance with campus color coordination, Rady segues into a worthier account of their time in office. He outlines the successes of SafeRide, a program that has offered 1,200 rides home from downtown to students living in the Riverside and West Campus neighborhoods, though not the Far West neighborhood, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights since its launch in early September. We support the pair’s moves to decrease drunk driving from Sixth Street and are glad to see them sharing the good news with the student body. 

Safety is another issue the executive alliance has focused on. Strickland mentions a “mobile safety app” in the works that they hope we will see “very, very soon.” Rady told the Texan Tuesday that the exact design and features of the app have yet to be finalized, but our interest is certainly piqued. 

Rady closes by trumpeting what is perhaps their most impressive accomplishment yet: the 24-hour FAC. As we have chronicled in the Texan, this hard-fought achievement will offer students yet another space to study late at night. The Perry-Castañeda Library currently stays open for 24 hours, five days a week during select parts of the semester. However, we recognize that the demands of essays, projects and exams extend beyond the bounds of the middle of the semester.

All in all, the update covers a number of important issues. What concerns us, however, is the way in which they have chosen to present their successes. By leading with branding, we feel that Rady and Strickland may have misplaced some of their priorities. We don’t disdain their attempts to energize the student body but find it slightly vexing that they placed the greatest importance on that particular item. While Rady and Strickland are doing the important work we expected of them when we endorsed them in February, we worry that they may be valuing show over substance.