I write to you today having just read the Feb. 25 editorial article concerning student senate. My response is a personal one, as I am the briefly discussed “unqualified candidate” who was voted against for the position of Internal Affairs chairperson last week, but also an attempt to tell the other story of the student senate problem. The article ends with a recurring plea for interested parties to join Student Senate. Because of what I’ve experienced recently, I won’t be applying for another position, and now I understand why other students won’t either.
When I applied for the Internal Affairs Chairperson position, I received the official endorsement of the student body officers. The following Monday, before Senate voted to approve my endorsement, Student Body Vice President Tricia Anklan stepped down from leading the meeting to personally speak out against me.
She called into question my character and ethics, even though we’d never met before I applied. She said I was unqualified, despite the fact that I’ve held more leadership positions and sat on more executive boards than the other candidates. I also have two more years of academic experience than the other candidates as a political science major. Finally, I have student senate experience, having served as an off-campus senator.
The questioning of my ethics was based on untruths. I feel derided and insulted and in my opinion, I have been a casualty of the continuing political war amongst the student body officers. I accepted the re-nomination in order to address attacks on my character in open forum, which I was not afforded the first meeting. Last week’s editorial called this nothing less than an outrage, and claimed that it went against the will of the assembly.
I personally find it somewhat outrageous that one student body officer can continually go against the decision of the other three, and somehow this can be interpreted as them hindering progress. Even more outrageous to me is that the same officer can falsely accuse me of being a liar without giving me the opportunity to refute these claims, and not expect me to say something about it the following week.
Of course I’m more disappointed than angry. I am, perhaps, an idealist when it comes to government among other things, but wanting the best for this student body isn’t something I’m ashamed of. I admit, with some naivete as I’ve realized, I thought I could realistically do something good for the school from within Student Senate in my last months here. I thought I could sidestep the feud between the student body officers, but instead I got caught up in it.
Politics has always been my least favorite thing about politics. I’m hoping the next student body officers can turn things around, employing reason, objectivity and even bipartisanship, just to shake things up. The future legitimacy of Bradley’s Student Senate depends upon it.
Senior Political Science Major