The Chronicle’s View: It’s in your hands now

A recent decision to restructure the face of the Presenter’s Office has the potential to change not only what U students see when they look at the Associated Students of the University of Utah, but also what they hear and do at on-campus events.

The decision-which resulted in Jenny Thomas stepping down from her position at the office after six years-is one that came out of a desire to return the office to students and transfer control from the adult advisers and back into the hands of those individuals who actually attend the U.

So the question becomes, was it a good, or even necessary, decision?

The answer, sadly, is not quite as simple to come by as the question.

First, it’s important to have an understanding of the reasons why the decision to remove Thomas was made.

According to Alex Lowe, president of ASUU, said that it comes down to three issues: 1) That it is important to make sure the office is student-driven. 2) That the restructuring would alleviate a division between ASUU and the office. 3) That the decision would make sure Lowe’s administration is accountable for the use of student fees.

While these are legitimate concerns, there may have been other ways to meet these standards.

Why didn’t Thomas satisfy these criteria?

One big problem was that ASUU officials and office members felt that there existed a division between Thomas and the Presenter’s Office members that made complete cooperation difficult.

Fair enough-so there was a division and a decision was made to bridge it. But what new problems are raised in the decision’s wake?

One big problem is that students fear that in the absence of Thomas and those who have been an integral part of the communication network between students and publicists-which is a legitimate concern.

However, this is a concern that can be addressed without much attention-even without the contacts established by those who came before, new contacts can be made. If students work hard, and if Thomas can be an adult about all this and give the information back to the students, then everything will be fine.

Essentially, getting the office back into the hands of students is the most important consideration to make right now.

Logically, the right student for this student-oriented job is probably better suited to the task than the best adult for the job, simply because students are inherently in better touch with the overall trends and concerns of the student body than any external adult could ever be.

The dilemma becomes finding the right students for the job and making sure that the high-caliber of job that deserves being done, is done.

It’s not that hard, however. With the students who are already a part of the office and the expertise they can being to the table, finding interested and motivated students to come in and take over where Thomas left off is only a matter of making it known that such an ambitious and impactful position is available. Just like in the movies, if you build it, they will come-make it known what is being done at the Presenter’s Office, and hopefully a solution to the problems that have plagued the office will be found.