Section 1.1 of the SIPASA Constitution reads: “SIPASA is fully committed to upholding and exercising the principles of good governance, including transparency, accountability and responsibility.” However, in the past week, the SIPASA board has failed to live up to its mandate.
The SIPASA board agreed as a group not to speak publicly about the dismissal proceedings. The Morningside Post was forced to rely on anonymous sources to confirm even the most basic elements of the story, such as the fact that Boehr’s dismissal was the subject of the meetings and that a large number of SIPASA members were considering resignation in the event that she was not removed.
Facing anonymous allegations, even Boehr herself declined to address the accusations until her hand was forced by an internal leak.
Throughout the crisis, SIPASA members have strongly resisted calls for transparency and have largely refused to be accountable for their actions before the SIPA community. This stance is unacceptable in light of SIPA’s stated values and the principles stressed in our classrooms.
We are encouraged by the board’s decision during Monday night’s meeting to allow one of our reporters to sit in and take notes on the record, and even more so by board members’ stated future policy that members of the press will be allowed to attend all future meetings.
Nonetheless, an organization’s commitment to transparency is best gauged during a time of crisis, when concealing information becomes instinctual. Thus the board’s opacity for these past months remains a source of concern.
SIPA students deserve to know what is happening at SIPASA. This is especially true when it concerns the fate of the organization’s president, who is elected by students through an open and democratic process. We feel such a decision is too important to be made in secret.
This editorial first appeared in the May 1st, 2013 print edition of The Morningside Post