Another side to the SG case
Re: “SG’s handling of case undemocratic” March 3
Student Government has taken its share of bashing over the past few days. The Elections Rules Commission was established to make sure the elections are fair. I want to set the stage straight.
The logo that Michael Mincberg and Christi Clements were using is too similar to the new SG logo. I and the rest of the ERC do not think the students here at USF are dumb; on the contrary, I have met some brilliant people since coming to USF. However, the ERC cannot allow a chance for the Mincberg/Clements ticket. As we know from past elections, a few votes can decide the outcome.
If the outcome of an election were decided by someone who thought SG was endorsing that particular ticket, then my job would be a failure. The Mincberg/Clements ticket was given two warnings to take their signs down and face no penalty. They refused to comply. In verbal conversation, they were told that they could face a 10-point violation. They knew this could happen. They took a calculated risk by putting the signs back up and it backfired.
I ask that before the students here at USF judge the disqualification, all the facts should be clear. Making a rushed judgment just makes one look bad. If, after getting all the facts, you still disagree with the decision, then that is not a bad thing. It is all right to disagree with a ruling, as long as you know both sides of the case.
Due Process was not violated here. State law says that student government elections are handled within student government proceedings and processes. This is what was done and the Supreme Court agreed with the ERC.
I have to live the rest of my life knowing that during my tenure as ERC director, there was a disqualification. We were hired to do a job, and we are doing it. As a leader, I had to do something that I did not want to do. There are no biases or political agendas in the ERC.
I am sorry that some good candidates can no longer run for election, but they broke the rules. Sometimes lessons in life are hard, just learn from the events when they are hard.
Andrew Read is a sophomore majoring in accounting and is the Director of the ERC.
Religious, not close-minded
The other day, my mass communications teacher asked the class if we thought an amendment needs be added to the constitution in order to assure that legitimate marriage in this country stays, as it has stayed for all of human history, between a man and a woman. Not surprisingly, there was a resounding, “No” in the classroom.
I’d say only one other person besides myself said, “Yes.” No doubt, 30 or 40 years ago it would have been two for the, “No” and the rest of the class for, “Yes, it should be added.” What’s the difference now? Why have we changed so much as a country?
I believe it really all comes down to this concept: if you believe something for no other than a religious reason, then you are being “close-minded,” you are “misguided” or that you should keep such a thing to yourself.
We’ve gone from “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof” and a legitimate reasonable separation of the State and religion, to a hedonistic separating of all aspects of government from any influence of religion and the mainstream idea that religious thought is somehow backwards and infantile.
In this school, I’ve heard more people talk about how puritanical our government is and not one professor or school commentator has ever said how the Puritans helped us to establish a free state in the first place with certain “unalienable Rights.”
The problem, in my opinion, with the American mindset today is that of endowment. Who endows us with these “unalienable rights?” Is it God, or is it we the people of the United States? If it is not God, then we have become the measure of all things and we will no longer ask the question of “what God thinks,” because we are told that it is an unconstitutional question to ask.
And this is how, as the freest country in the world, amidst religious relativism and super-heightened tolerance at all costs, we have imprisoned ourselves and made ourselves like God. God save us, for we cannot.
Steve Carroll is a sophomore majoring in music performance.