Tsk tsk, Editorial BoardBy Erynn Williams | 03/16/2014 11:00pm
Like many other students Tuesday, I picked up The Crimson White to take a glance at what’s happening on our campus. I was disappointed to see that day’s “Our View” written by The Crimson White Editorial Board. I respect the time taken by the editorial board to interview the executive candidates and come to a consensus on candidates that they wish to support, as well as the tradition of the media supporting candidates for decades.
However, I can’t help but feel that this was a disservice to the student body, just as it is for the citizens of our country when national newspapers publicly endorse candidates in major elections. After reading the sections for each of the candidates that were endorsed, I felt an overwhelming sense that the collective decision was more of a “lesser of two evils” choice on most candidates, with no decision made on Executive Secretary.
Quotes such as “[Laura] Gregory’s platform, however, is weak at best,” and “…we hold major reservations about an administration headed by [Hamilton] Bloom and doubt his capability to advocate for student concerns in controversial issues…” lead me to believe that the editorial board was reluctant to choose the candidates they endorsed, with the exception of the Vice President for Student Affairs. I find it interesting that the editorial board would choose to endorse students who would likely not act when called into action during controversy.
Apparently, the CW would rather have people with “experience” in SGA than to allow a fresh candidate the opportunity to gain that experience. If none of the candidates appear to be capable of giving this campus the voice that it needs, then why make the decision to endorse candidates at all? The tradition of having this input cannot validate this act if the editors were not even fully behind the candidates. If the case was that the editorial board decided to choose based on different merits, then why was there not an endorsement made for one of the offices?
In the blurb about the Office of Executive Secretary, statements made about Polly Ricketts implied that she would likely maintain the lack of transparency within the SGA. The CW also stated, in reference to her response on the existence of the Machine, “Beyond being patently false, her statement is unacceptable because she is seeking an office that is largely responsible for transparency in the SGA.”
Yet the CW said she would be just as good of a service to the student body as Khortlan Patterson, a “strong-willed fighter” who has already demonstrated that she has no problem standing up for what she believes is right. The statements made do not present an equality of service, but if experience was what the candidate needed for support, why was Ricketts not chosen?
Tuesday’s “Our View” was a disservice to those students who adhere to the advice of this section of the newspaper. While it is indeed the responsibility of students to seek information and form their own opinions, let’s face it: not every student does. It is the job of the media to present unbiased information to allow for these students to make their own decisions. Unfortunately, The Crimson White did not do that this past Tuesday. These students were given clear, but hesitant, choices for all executive offices with opposition, except for Executive Secretary.
I am very disappointed in the editorial board of The Crimson White for associating the student media with specific candidates after doing such a great job informing students by including platforms for each of the executive candidates earlier in the week. The election endorsements show The Crimson White as having bias in the SGA election, when they should have left the voters to take the information presented to the public and form their own opinions.
I hope that in the future The Crimson White will see that this tradition is not for the betterment of the students and recuse themselves from topics involving choosing one candidate over another in any elections. Instead, it should let the student body voice their own opinions on the elections.
Erynn Williams is a sophomore majoring in dance and international studies. Her column runs biweekly.