If the hoped-for "good-things" of the National Student Association are to continue developing on the regional level, if there is to be exchange between colleges in solving such problems as discrimination and international student exchange, in simple words, if New England NSA is to function and not gradually disintegrate, the next conference will have to be a radical improvement over the last. Recognizing this, a Student Council committee will propose three suggestions on Saturday to the excentive committee of regional NSA that may help in bringing order out of chaos that was the bi-regional NSA conference held at Boston University a few weekends age.
It is always to be expected that new organizations will stumble about a good bit and bicker considerably before developing into adulthood. Though NSA in beyond the stumbling period, the recent conference did have its share of bickering, for it was the first bi-regonal meeting of the Northern and Southern New England regionals. The split along the North-South lines over NSA's position in regard to partisan politics appeared to be the cause of the stalemate that prevented the conference from being effective. Actually the squabbling arose only out of the real point of failure: lack of organization.
Following only a general agenda, the delegates hurled topics into the plenary session before discussing them in committee meetings. This led to oratory, parliamentary confusion, and few results beyond mounting tempers. Only when the conference turned at last to the International and National Commission level did any organization and perspective appear. The first, and most important suggestion is to establish a planning committee that could prepare a detailed agenda a few weeks before conferences. By contacting all participating colleges such a committee could coordinate the issues that would be raised with the delegates most capable of working on them. Then, with the topic presented in mimeographed form by the interested college, the conference could go immediately into discussing each issue in committee before presenting it to the plenary session.
The other two suggestions aim at improving the present method of electing regional officers, which is now by caucus at the national convention in the summer. Two problems arise: voters seldom know candidates' qualifications, and officers elected in the summer must be confirmed by a vote of the regional conference in the Fall. This time-lag leads to inertia on the part of new officers until their "second election." A nominating committee that would acquaint itself with qualifications of potential candidates before the convention, and an amendment to the constitution making the summer election final would insure the best possible officers for regional NSA and speed them on their way. Though a harmoniously functioning New England NSA will require much further thought and work, these suggestions should do much toward achieving that goal.