The Scarlet & Black

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The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Letter to the Editor: Bureaucracy hampers

Here at Grinnell, we often laud our freedom to control our environment, citing student initiatives and self-gov as examples. While these are powerful tools, they are often diminished by bureaucracy. Despite Grinnell’s small size, it suffers from a surprising amount of bureaucracy.

Change is slowed by the sheer number of committees that need to approve even minor actions. While I understand that these committees exist to ensure that Grinnell does not devolve into chaos, the stability they seem to bring comes with a crushing lack of freedom to make substantive change in many cases. This can be exacerbated by the schedule of committee meetings. Some of the committees only meet once per month, meaning an idea that is discussed over two or three meetings may not see approval for three months. Many students lack the time or energy to fight their way through the rules and committees to make change, and this leads to countless good ideas withering away.

SGA is also hindered by this web of bureaucracy. We often speak of student initiatives and the change they bring with pride, but the truth is that many passed initiatives are stalled due to committees and other bureaucracy. There is only so much the senators and other initiatives committee students can do in the current situation. This lack or delay of change causes many students to lose faith in SGA and the administration.

We, as an institution, are better than bureaucracy. We should make a concentrated effort, from the students, to SGA, to the faculty and staff, to the administration, to streamline the process for making change on this campus. If we can make the path to change clear to everyone, and ensure communication and approval remain quick and simple, we will see an even better Grinnell than today.

With self-gov and love,

Eric Mistry ’14

Eric Mistry is Business Manager of the S&B.

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