As campus settles into the new school year, DCGA is beginning to focus on some concrete and exciting ways to change Denison for the better. PR Chair Lily Gross ‘19 opened up the floor for debate on Tuesday night asking for senators’ opinions on a possible Facebook live stream of each DCGA session.
Those for the live stream option, led by Gross, argued that increased visibility and transparency with the student body would promote a healthier and more beneficial relationship between DCGA and the rest of campus. “We know that not every student with a passion for Denison is able to attend our meetings, so perhaps this will be a way to encourage a greater amount of participation and awareness regarding propositions such as the Campus Shuttle, Financial well-being and Party Registration. Additionally, it has the possibility to hold all members of the student body- senators included- accountable for remarks and intended actions during senate meetings,” said President Sara Shore ‘17.
Making these live streams available through a platform such as Facebook (which is fairly simple and easy to set up) would theoretically reach the broadest audience possible. Each live stream would be broadcasted and recorded from the DCGA’s official Facebook page, making a copy of each meeting available for viewing at any time by anyone.
The group was largely divided on this idea however, with some senators believing the transparency would do more harm than good. Initial reservations arose out of some senators’ “stage fright” in front of the camera. Some felt that the pressure of performing while being filmed was something that not every member might be comfortable with.
In addition to this concern, other senators expressed apprehensions regarding the ability for the public to take excerpts from the meetings, to twist them and display them out of their original context. Many senators felt that there was more potential for the public to misuse these live streams for purposes harmful towards the DCGA, therefore using their own tools against them. This issue seemed particularly to take hold with the group.
Others questioned how this new program compared to measures already taken by the DCGA, such as the posting of minutes from each meeting online. Would live streaming capability ultimately prove to be more or less effective than what is already established?
The group could not reach a clear consensus on the topic, with too many senators questioning the lack of privacy on the organization’s efficacy. This does not mean that the potential for a DCGA live stream will disappear for good. Shore, among many others, feel strongly that this is a necessary step in bringing campus governance into the technological age- however long that may take.