PittOpinion

  • Welcome to the Gorilla family

    It’s my pleasure to be among the first to welcome you to Pittsburg State University.
    The start of the fall semester is a time of new beginnings, familiar friendships and endless possibilities. Our faculty and staff share in your excitement at what lies ahead and are here to help you achieve your academic goals.
    Whether you are a new student or a returning senior, you’ll notice a lot of changes taking place at your university. Pittsburg State is abuzz with activity and in the process of completing several major additions and renovations to campus facilities.
    We’ve renovated more than 89 rooms in Nation Hall and completely updated the heating and air conditioning system in Heckert Wells. But that’s just the beginning.
    We’re working hard to improve student life with improvements and additions to the Overman Student Center. This $14 million expansion and renovation will add new offices and meeting spaces for student groups, additional dining and recreational offerings, and a new 600-seat ballroom. It is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2015.
    A little farther to the east, great progress has been made on two of our most prominent projects. The Plaster Center, our 154,000-square-foot indoor event center will host the 2016 and 2018 NCAA Division II National Track Championships and is on schedule to open in the spring of 2015.
    And after nearly two years, the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts is nearing completion. This $33 million facility will feature a 1,100-seat performance hall, 250-seat theater, and much more. Look for an official ribbon cutting in December.
    I know that you had many choices when it came to selecting a university, and I thank you for choosing Pittsburg State.
    You’ll find that one of the great things about being a Gorilla is that you are now part of an extended family whose members include more than 63,000 alumni throughout the world.
    I encourage you to be an active student and to engage in academic discussions. Help lead your university by becoming involved in the Student Government Association or any one of the more than 150 student groups on campus. And, of course, cheer on the Gorillas as they compete in sporting events.
    This is your opportunity, and it begins today.
    I look forward to seeing you on the Oval. Let’s make it a great semester!
    Sincerely,
    Steven A. Scott, PSU president

  • Brazil’s World Cup: an $11 billion trap

    Val Vita

    Here in my country, if you were to ask 10 little boys what they want to be when they grow up, it’s very possible that eight of them will tell you the same thing: soccer player. I’m not overreacting when I say that soccer in Brazil is like a religion. People here go crazy because of it – maybe even more than Americans go crazy for football. In Brazil, all the boys want to be Neymar.
    This year, as we all know, we are experiencing the delight (or the curse, depending on whom you ask) of hosting the FIFA World Cup. It’s interesting to be here on vacation and have the opportunity to see this particular phenomenon happening. Especially because a year ago the streets were filled with protesters (including me), screaming “Nao vai ter Copa” (which means “There won’t be World Cup”). A large part of the population is unhappy that our developing country is spending billions with soccer stadiums, instead of investing in education, health and infrastructure for our population.
    Well, it turns out the World Cup is here. And the people who were protesting at the time are now paying a huge amount of money to go to the stadiums to watch the games. Why? Because everyone here lives and breathes soccer.
    Don’t get me wrong. The protests are still occurring, but with very few people compared to last year. Instead, people on the opening game booed the president, Dilma Rousseff, who was kind of already expecting that. That’s why she didn’t speak at the opening ceremony, as expected.
    Brazilians were so excited with the start of the event and with all the tourists walking the streets of our capitals that they decided to forget how much money we lost because of the Cup.
    Brazil invested $11 billion in infrastructure related to the Cup and a third of this amount was spent on the stadiums. Well, putting money on stadiums is not exactly an investment. One, because all the money raised from the matches goes to FIFA and not to Brazil. Second, because some of these stadiums are never going to be used again.
    Here’s an example: $217 million was invested in a single stadium in the city of Manaus, and the place is destined to be used in four World Cup games. Four. There’s no soccer team in Manaus, and famous singers will probably not choose the city as part of a big tour. So, as comedian John Oliver said, Brazil constructed “the world’s most expensive bird toilet.” Sad, but true.
    What I’ve been seeing on the streets, though, is pure happiness and excitement. Every time Brazil plays, the country stops. Literally. If the game starts at 5 p.m., businesses allow their employees to leave at 4. The schools do the same. There’s traffic jam to go back home on game days. It’s as if it’s forbidden to do any thing during the games besides watching them.
    Brazilians go home earlier, they dress in green and yellow and they cheer. They cheer as if soccer were the most important thing in the world. As they cheer, they forget that we spent $11 billion that we didn’t even have. Go Brazil!

  • “X-Men” sequel an emotional roller-coaster

    Casey Matlock
    “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” directed by Bryan Singer, brings in stars from the old and newer X-Men films for a battle of time-linear proportions. The film is picturesque of an apocalypse that takes place in the present day. The future looks bleak, and it is up to present-day Professor X, played by Patrick Stewart, and his rag-tag team of mutant cohorts to resolve the problems of the past.
    The older version of Professor X explained to Wolverine how he’s going to have Kitty, played by Ellen Page, send Wolverine’s consciousness back to the past and into his younger body and that time will continue to pass normally in the present day, even as Wolverine changes past events. Nevertheless, those changes will take effect only when Wolverine wakes up again in present day.
    This film is a roller-coaster of emotions from beginning to end as the past and present versions of our favorite mutant collide. If you enjoyed the previous film, “X-Men: First Class,” you surely will not be disappointed. There is a smidge of skeptic opinion when it comes to sequels, but saying that this film is an exception would be an understatement.
    Fans of the comics will be pleased along with the naïve Marvel fans who are just looking for a little escapism along with the eye candy of the fairly attractive actors. The “Days of Future Past’s” plot is mildly explosive and can be compared to the previous films when it comes to conflict between the mutants and society’s prejudice against them. What this film offers that the previous films don’t is some genuine resolution whereas the previous films practically left viewers hanging by a limb.
    Each character holds his own in this film and equally provides a sense of power and excitement to the roles. Characters from the first three X-Men films have a slightly smaller part to play, although the majority of the film takes place in the 1970s, thus creating a plausible reason for their absences.
    This film also introduces new mutants, such as Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters; Warpath, played by Booboo Stewart; and Sunspot, played by Adam Canto. Evan Peters’ Quicksilver steals every moment of his screen time. There are also a number of nice cameos and fun nods to both comic book and historical figures.
    “X-Men: Days of Future Past” is successful at being a thrilling superhero movie by balancing dramatic weight with comedic moments and closure from problems that came from the previous films.

  • ‘No animal should be left behind’

    | Erica Wilson guest writer |

    Pets can make the best companions, so it makes sense that sometimes college students feel the need to get a pet.
    The downside to owning a pet in college is that when students graduate or go home for the summer, they are often unable to take a pet with them.
    Pets establish strong bonds with their owners. No animal deserves to have that bond broken.
    The excuses for abandoning an animal can range anywhere from the choice of a landlord who does not allow pets, to claims that animals require more time and money than a student can provide.
    College students should think long and hard about their animals’ lives before they go through with a pet purchase or adoption. No pet should be left behind.
    Moving is one of the biggest reasons for surrendering animals to the care of a shelter, especially at the end of the school year.
    People don’t realize the responsibilities involved in owning a pet. Pet owners need to put the quality of their animals’ lives as a top priority. They need to consider the cost of vet expenses, living arrangements and look toward the future. They must ensure that an animal will be taken care of for its lifetime.
    Students who are thinking about getting pets in college should consider the needs of the animal before making any type of commitment. Then and only then should students, who truly understand the responsibilities of having a bet, think about adopting.
    No animal should be left behind. Every animal deserves a loving home forever, not just August through May.

    Erica Wilson is the promotional director and business manager for the Southeast Kansas Humane Society. She may be reached at 620-232-1840 or at info@sekhs.org. The Humane Society is located at 487 E. 560th Avenue in Pittsburg.

  • New edition

    Another page turned

    | Marcus Clem editor in chief |

    They say time flies when you’re having fun, but that’s not really true; time flies when you’re too busy to notice it. Though I’ve certainly had some fun along the way.
    This issue will be my last as editor of The Collegio. I would like to think that I’ve managed to leave the newspaper better than I found it, though at most I’ve been a channel for a Pittsburg State community.
    I envy my successor, but even more, the editors who will be here in the years to come. More and more people will join Pitt State’s ranks and I know the newspaper will get to be a window to an even brighter future.
    We’ve achieved a lot in this year. With a silver medal from the Kansas Collegiate Media, we showed how The Collegio is among the best student projects in the state.
    Some of our content complemented this year’s Kanza, which was named the best publication of its kind in the state for the fourth year in a row. Both publications saw staffers take home dozens of individual awards.
    We’ve built coverage of local, state and even national or international news events as a consistent front-page element.
    We held public officials to account and placed a well-organized and easy-to-understand window for important issues into readers’ hands.
    Our entertainment section informed people about fun things to do before they happened and served as the one of the best platforms in Pittsburg for students to share information about the performing arts.
    Our opinion page provided well-researched and thoughtful viewpoints from the staff and our community guest writers, to whom I offer my immense gratitude.
    A lot of ways to improve this newspaper lie ahead. We need to build a consistent social media presence, though I was proud to see our Facebook followers recently near 1,000 in number.
    We need to plug firmly into breaking news as it happens, and avoid simply reacting to events that are concluded. We need to tell more personal stories and build in-depth features on complex, ongoing issues.
    I offer my sincerest thanks to our loyal readers, who have been and will remain part of everything we do, to build Southeast Kansas’ strongest medium for the free exchange of ideas.
    If you want to be part of this incredible project, reach out to my successor at 620-235-4901, or email psucollegio@gmail.com.
    And don’t worry, I’ll still be around.

    Marcus Clem is a junior in
    communication and Spanish.

    New girl in town

    | Kelsea Renz managing editor |

    Most of you may not know me. I’m the new girl this year: a transfer student, somewhat of an outsider.
    And I’m your new editor-in-chief.
    I do mean yours. I may now bear the title of editor of The Collegio and must now follow in the footsteps of those fantastic editors before me to continue the legacy of The Collegio, but I serve you, the readers.
    It is for you that the staff and I work long nights and take on immense stress to bring you timely and entertaining news.
    It is for you that we are present at almost every event, happy or sad, that has to do with Pittsburg State.
    And it is for you that I embark on the journey of being your editor, to accurately and fairly represent you on this campus, in this town and in this state.
    I came to Pitt State from Baylor University in Texas. I grew up around the area because my parents are alumni, yet I was still an alien here.
    I joined The Collegio on a whim the first week of school, having never done newspaper before but wanting both a job and a way to be involved in the university.
    I could never have imagined it would grow to mean so much to me so quickly.
    I add to a rare class of Collegio editor in that I am not a communication major.
    As such, I have much still to learn, and I must rely on my staff and you, the readers, to help me. Because without you, there would be no paper.
    I don’t just mean that if you stop reading, we’d not be able to put out papers, although that is true. I mean that you are whom we write to, whom we write for.
    You are the voices from the outside, the very heartbeat of this school and this town. I am honored to be your editor and give you the opportunity to express yourselves.
    I look forward to another great year for The Collegio, for Pitt State and for you.

    Kelsea Ranz is a junior
    in international business.

  • Campus Chit-Chat

    | Erika Hall reporter |

    People see in pictures, think in pictures and describe those pictures with words. So, why not tell stories in pictures? Thats describes Pecha Kucha, which is Japanese for “chit-chat.”
    Pecha Kucha was devised so that people can share their stories in pictures and do so in 20 slides at 20 seconds a slide or for a total of six minutes and 40 seconds.
    Pecha Kucha is a popular global event that showcases the art of the fast-paced visual presentations on any topic of the presenters’ choosing.
    Students from Girard Middle School, Pittsburg High, PSU, as well as PSU faculty and staff, presented stories in room S102 on Friday, April 25, at the Kansas Technology Center.
    Twelve presenters, five of whom were from Girard Middle School, one student from Pittsburg High, PSU staff members, residents and the Pittsburg city planner were among the performers.
    A variety of stories were told, stretching from the history and importance of cities presented by Pittsburg’s city planner to the outward manifestation of a PSU librarian’s personality based on the items on her desk.
    Megan Corrigan, a PSU staff member who recently decided to return to school herself, said that she joined the Pecha Kucha presentations because she wanted to become a more entertaining and relatable presenter. As the study-abroad coordinator for PSU, Corrigan traveled to Crimea and used her experiences there as her inspiration. She showed photos from her time there.
    Another presenter was Charly McCully, a 14-year-old Girard Middle School student who gave a presentation different than the others. She highlighted the statistics and realities of human sex trafficking and slavery.
    It was the hardest hitting performance of the night, showing images of prostitution, child labor, and even listed major businesses that are still using sweatshops around the world. She posed the lasting question, “Did slavery really end in 1863?”
    “In 2007 the human trafficking business made $32 billion. That’s more than Nike, Starbucks and Google all combined that year,” said McCully. “Anyone can report this problem, maybe not so much locally but it is happening, and it’s happening everywhere.”
    Luke Martin and Cooper Brown, two 14-year-old Girard Middle School students, tied their presentations to their own interests.
    Luke presented the history of Kansas City baseball, a topic dear to his heart. Hardly looking at his notecards, he presented a fast-paced, fun presentation on the topic. He ended his segment by informing the audience that currently the Royals were up by two in the top of the third inning, and the audience met the news with applause and laughter.
    Cooper spoke about bocce ball, a game he played much of his life with his family. He explained that his Italian heritage is what got him interested in the Italian game. And, his father and grandfather always played together.
    After his grandfather died, Cooper took his place in a bocce tournament at age 7. After winning his first tournament, he said, he believed his grandfather was watching over them that day.
    Mark Johnson, one of the organizers of PSU’s Pecha Kucha, says that the event celebrates the art of getting to the point.
    “You know I’m a university professor and sometimes we like to hold our students captive for hours with our words,” says Johnson. “… but what if instead I narrowed that down into a few minutes, and it was so inspiring with what I showed and said in that six minutes and 40 seconds, that they would be willing to stick around for three hours and have a conversation afterwards. That way it’s their choice to stick around and learn and not me making them do it.”

  • Earth Day features foolish green-energy stonewall

    | Staff Editorial |

    In the wake of Earth Day on Tuesday, April 22, Kansas faces becoming polluted by undue influence from special-interest lobbyists in the state legislature.
    Model legislation has been introduced in Oklahoma, with similar measures on the way in our state and in many others, to curtail the expansion of renewable energy and restrict residents’ rights.

    Solar lowers costs

    The big issue here is the practice known as net metering, when a resident who has a solar cell on his or her roof decides to dispense with excess energy by selling it to the local utility.
    In so doing, he or she gets a nice incentive to go green, and the power company gets a small shot of extra capacity to offer to other customers. On the surface, everyone wins.
    Imagine if Pittsburg could sponsor something like this for its residents.
    Electricity costs, a serious burden for Pitt State students who live off campus, would be relieved a bit.
    The economy would get a boost: Local retailers, such as The Home Depot, sell solar power equipment, and contractors get the business of installing it.
    Unfortunately, private-sector special interest groups with deep pockets and broad political clout have decided that it would also be a threat to the energy industry.
    Any such concern is overblown.
    Depending on one’s definition of “solar power,” it provides no more than 5 percent of the nation’s energy needs. Community reliance on solar sources of electricity is still impossible outside of the sunniest desert climates.
    The act of buying a rooftop solar cell powerful enough to provide for a home is still only just becoming cost effective, and that’s with considerable state and federal subsidies.
    There is no room for reason with people who are determined to preserve the regional monopolies of utility companies and, by extension, fossil-fuel producers.

    Lobbies < voters

    Those industries want a ban on net metering and propose other harebrained ideas like a repeal of Kansas’ goal to get to 20 percent renewable reliance by 2020.
    They say that any government support of these efforts poses too much of a risk to their interests and, in a way only they seem to understand, harms “freedom.”
    Anyone with any sense can see what’s really going on.
    On March 25, the Kansas Senate passed a bill, 25-15, to repeal the 20 percent goal, though the state House of Representatives managed to have the sense to kill it.
    The effort now thankfully lies in limbo, the proper fate of anything that strangles initiatives to put money into homeowners’ pockets while advancing communities into the new millennium.
    It’s embarrassing when ideas come up in Topeka that are this nonsensical and unjustifiable except in the eyes of a narrow special interest.
    It is our responsibility as Kansans to remind our representatives that they work for us, that they represent us.
    And, when they take stupid, protectionist manure from a lobbyist’s hand and then vote for it, they should be called out.

  • ‘I will always love SGA’

    | Taylor Gravett |

    Wow! What an incredible year it has been.
    It doesn’t seem possible that it has already been a year since I took office as Student Government Association president, and it’s time to swear in someone new.
    This entire experience has taught me so much about myself and my abilities, as well as those around me. Being able to carry the message of every single student to local leaders in Pittsburg, state leaders in Topeka, and national representatives in Washington, D.C., has truly been an honor.
    Throughout the course of the year, many people have asked me what my story was.
    My story is like that of so many other students at Pittsburg State. I am a first-generation college student, from a hard-working middle-class family.
    I am from a small town with no stoplights and my graduating class had barely more than 50 people. Never in a million years did I think that I would be the advocate for 7,400 hard-working students from all walks of life. I will be forever grateful for that.

    ‘Proud to look back’

    When I was elected last April, I saw numerous things that students wanted to see done that I felt my administration could complete in a timely manner.
    We accomplished many things that some may not know of and my cabinet deserves much of the praise for those projects.
    Some of the key projects and new initiatives that we were able to create include: extension of Axe Library hours, the first balanced SGA budget in recent memory, the introduction of the Educator of the Month initiative, the donation of $2,000 to help Gorilla Assistance Pantry off its feet, multiple new community service projects and the Sport of the Week program.
    We’ve contributed to the groundbreaking for the new Robert W. Plaster Center, intensive work on the design of the new Overman Student Center, appropriation of funds to furnish items for the new Overman, and the establishment of an improved conversation with our elected leaders about support for higher education.
    These are just a few of the things that we were able to accomplish in the short time we had. We all worked very hard and took our jobs very seriously. I am so proud to look back and reflect on these projects and how they will all move Pitt State forward.

    ‘Excellence’ in Senate

    Being in SGA for three years, I have learned so much as a senator, academic affairs director and president. I have seen this organization encounter rough patches, but also its fair share of excellence.
    SGA will only thrive if people take the job seriously and realize at the end of the day who elected them. I will always love SGA, and I will cherish each and every person I have come to know because of my involvement in it.
    In conclusion, I have so many people to give thanks.
    First, to God, for allowing me this amazing opportunity; to my loving parents, and friends who have supported me along the way, I thank you so very much.
    To Steve Scott, university president, I cannot thank you enough for your leadership and your willingness to listen to the issues facing students at all levels. Thank you for being my role model, and showing me through your actions and words what it means to be a true leader.
    Lastly, I thank the students. There will never be the words to say just how humbled and enriched I am because of this experience and I know I would never have had it if it weren’t for you. Thank you for always working hard and for your love of Pitt State. I know I will see you all around. Go Gorillas.

    Taylor Gravett has served as SGA president for the 2013-2014 academic year. His term concluded on Wednesday, April 16. He is a junior in political science, economics and justice studies.

    | Rodney Kimlin |

    Student Government Association is a name that has come to be known for numerous things for the many students around Pittsburg State.
    To some, it is a chance to make a difference for the campus and community in which we have come to love. For others, it is a chance to build a résumé, and possibly even receive some money along the way, if you are lucky enough to be selected for a cabinet position.
    Unfortunately for the general student body, it seems that SGA has become a joke, a travesty and an all-around dysfunctional organization that people should avoid.
    My time in SGA over the past year and a-half has been one mixed with positives and negatives.
    I have been able to help students understand allocations so they can get their organizations hard-earned money, but I have also been accused of helping to rig an entire election.

    ‘Needs a fresh approach’

    In the end, I love the organization.
    That’s not because of what it is or what it does, but because of the friendships I have made along the way. I’ll admit that it feels great to make recommendations on student fees and “fight” for the student body, but at the close of the day, the friendships I have forged trump it all.
    Student government is clearly an organization in distress, exemplified by the blow-ups associated with the 2014 SGA campaign. It needs a fresh approach.
    It needs new senators who are coming in without preconceived notions and feelings about the past and new cabinet members, who are hired upon qualifications and ideas instead of knowing the right people. It needs a new outlook geared toward the future.
    Pitt State is at a vital point in its existence: Continual growth, together with the addition of numerous structures around campus, have presented our university with the chance to set itself apart fully from other schools in the region.
    An active SGA can be a pivotal part in educating the students in general about the great things Pitt State is working toward: the bigger picture and why they should be a part of it.
    I believe many entered SGA this past year with the idea that they were going to make a difference and be the change we all picture we are going to be. Because of some agitators and a series of missteps along the way, communication broke down.

    ‘No one person to blame’

    The typical “he said, she said” mentality overtook us and overwhelmed an organization to the point to where it seemed like it was a game of Clue; no one knew whom they could really trust.
    There is no one person to blame, as we all played a part in the breakdown, but now it is up to the incoming administration and senators to piece it back together.
    I have hope that the mistakes made this past year will not be repeated and the fresh faces chosen in the election will help to get SGA back on track.
    I have spoken with many of the new individuals and I am faithful that SGA will be primed to regain its footing and once again aspire to be a vital part of Pitt State and the community.
    SGA is more than just one person, it is a collective effort with the goal of bettering our campus, and I implore the general student body to keep that in mind.
    Do not let this past year leave a lasting impression or drive preconceived notions of SGA.
    A new year brings new ideas, and a chance for a fresh start. I believe I can honestly say that all of us from this past year only wish the best for the group, and hope that the student body does as well.

    Rodney Kimlin is a graduate student in business administration. He served as SGA treasurer for the 2013-2014 academic year, resigning on April 9 amid controversy related to the assembly’s election.

  • Food for thought for SGA

    | Staff Editorial |

    The reactions among the crowd gathered to hear the winner of this year’s Student Government Association election told it all: Jordan Schaper and Jaci Gilchrist’s relief and satisfaction, contrasted with Jake Letner and Jaecy Hebrlee’s resolution to press on amid an air of disappointment.
    We offer congratulations to Schaper and Gilchrist, but now it is time to get to work, and problems face SGA that go beyond the vision offered by either of the party platforms.

    Election culture

    Schaper has pledged to do what he can to heal the scars that this nasty campaign has left behind, but The Collegio has spoken to sources within SGA who indicate that what has happened has been a festering problem behind the scenes for several years.
    If that’s true, and we have no direct evidence of it, we hope that this summer will cool SGA members down and help them put the past behind them. Future senators should let bygones be bygones.
    We don’t doubt that this year’s election board, headed by Sen. Lindsay Ong and Sen. James Saltat, meant well by attempting to head off any negative campaigns by banning them outright.
    It would seem, however, that this only added gasoline to the fire, at least on social media. Insults, character attacks and outrage flowed freely there during the campaign, and feelings were hurt. This won’t work going forward.
    Instead, a regulated climate of politics-as-usual needs to be a goal. A fairly moderated and productive debate needs to be held for all contested elections. Attacks on policies or ideas, to test their strength, should be permitted.
    If the election board can argue that it has allowed a legitimate and spirited campaign, it will have gained more credibility when it brings down the hammer on those who step out of line.

    Balance of power

    We have already advocated for a serious look to be taken at SGA’s role in its partnership with Pittsburg State’s administration, and it’s important to reiterate that.
    Only under emergency circumstances should anyone outside of SGA take action in its election process, and exactly what such a case would be was not clear this year.
    Ultimately, the choice by Steve Erwin, associate vice president of campus life and auxiliary services, to overrule SGA’s election and judicial board may be justifiable.
    However, that choice happened amid a confusing and heated environment. That needs to be avoided going forward. SGA should have the primary responsibility to decide when outside intervention is needed.

    Room for big reform?

    There’s also room for broader change here. Today, SGA has the power to participate in student-fee allocations and offer recommendations to the administration. This gives students an important say in their cost of education.
    This is a mostly functional system, but student senators have at times raised issue with the occasional choice by Steve Scott, university president, and the President’s Council to override SGA and independently pass through fee increases.
    For most student-fee decisions at the University of Kansas, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little has power to veto a KU Student Senate recommendation and send it back to the Senate for revisions.
    Such an idea would take hard work by all parties to implement and to function, yet there is a sound path forward in stepping up senators’ involvement in the process while preserving Scott’s final say.

  • ‘Scheming group’ backing Letner/Hebrlee

    | Elle Walker guest writer |

    As a former senator, Big Event director and presidential candidate for the Student Government Association, it has been disheartening for me to watch this year’s SGA elections process unfold.
    To me, student government was the cream of the crop when it came to campus organizations. They were a body of students who wanted to serve this campus and leave it a better place than when they arrived.
    However, if this past year has taught me anything, it’s that reality is never really that pristine.
    Taylor Gravett, SGA president, Kiki Eigenmann, vice president, and Tadd Lucian, legislative affairs director, have broken SGA’s rules constantly throughout their term, eventually leading to a resolution to remove them from office.
    It is not hard to imagine why the party they chose to back also found itself in the public eye, and not for good reasons. The Letner/Hebrlee party has, in my eyes, been a disgrace to the honor of running for office.
    The fact that they managed to get back on this year’s ballot – following an SGA election board decision to expel them from the race after Letner/Hebrlee received enough infractions to remove them three times over – makes my stomach sink.
    I understand the university administration’s position in this matter, and I understand they want to ensure that every person has a fair shot, but I think by reinstating Letner/Hebrlee, they forgot to give the Gorilla Alliance its fair shot.
    Student government has an election board for a reason: to monitor election proceedings. The Senate votes this election board into office before its members assume their positions.
    Clearly, that means those who voted for them believed them to be capable of conducting fair and honest decisions.
    When Gravett stepped in and removed four of them from office, ostensibly to give “both sides… a fair shot,” he made his agenda extremely evident.
    Not only did he remove three members who voted to dismiss Letner/Hebrlee, but he also removed the only member who voted in that party’s favor. That shows that he was only looking for an excuse to remove Ong and appoint Eigenmann to the head of the board, an avid supporter of the Letner/Hebrlee party.
    I fail to see how that is giving the Gorilla Alliance a fair shot. Rodney Kimlin, who recently resigned from the election board, said it best when he said, “I wholeheartedly believe that Taylor is manipulating the system for (the Letner/Hebrlee party’s) gain.”
    It is my personal hope that Pitt State’s student body sees through this scheming group of individuals and votes for the Gorilla Alliance, so that SGA can once again be a symbol of moving forward, and away from being the laughing stock of campus.

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