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Questioning class officers’ decisions

Observer Viewpoint | Monday, August 30, 2004

A new school year has begun and some time has passed since April 1st, when our new class officers took their positions. I’d like to reflect a little on the new Sophomore Class Officers, who are President Jason Laws (Fisher), Vice President Bill Andrichik (Stanford), Treasurer Laura Horne (Howard) and Secretary Megan Spokes (Farley). After holding office for a some time now, it’s important that we look at how they have handled their positions thus far.

Who am I to judge the new class officers? I was once one of their colleagues – I was the St. Edward’s representative to Freshman Class Council. As Freshman Class Spiritual Commissioner, I, along with my fellow committee members, was part of one of the most active and successful committees in our class council. Despite my leadership and our committee’s success, I was denied the opportunity to serve the Class of 2007 as Spiritual Chairman, and was even denied a spot as a regular council member. Who was selected to take my place? A new member to council without previous council experience from Stanford, the home dorm of the class’s current Vice President.

And what’s worse about the choices made by the new officers? Nearly one out of three dorms on campus go unrepresented on council. According to the Class of 2007 Web site, Alumni, Dillon, Keough, Morrissey, Siegfried, Zahm, Cavanaugh and Lyons have no representation on council at all. When important decisions need to be made about class activities, the members of these dorms, which account for well over 1/3 of the members of the Class of 2007 will have no say in what goes on whatsoever.

Further, several dorms have unfair representation at the other end – they have more members than many other dorms. An example of this unsurprisingly comes from Stanford, again the home of the current Vice President, which has four representatives on council out of the 35 total members. Lewis and Welsh Family also have four reps and the other unmentioned dorms have one or two representatives.

What’s more? Of the six new chairmen that the new officers chose for the six committees on council, only one was a chairman or even a member of Freshman Council. So we will have one effective committee led by an experienced chairperson while there will be five other committees who will effectively have to start from scratch. This is more than a misjudgment by the current officers – it is politicizing of the issue. It is obvious that some positions were given in the interest of favors to friends rather than in the interest of the Class of 2007.

The question about all of this is not whether the officers should have been more thoughtful in their choices for council, but whether these officers are objective enough to lead. From my past experience on Council, I feel that an efficient student government can only come from objective leadership. These officers seem to have put politics and their friends ahead of what is good for our class, which I assure you the other candidates would not have done. I may seem to be partial, as the former campaign manager of an opposing ticket, but my involvement in that ticket goes further to prove my point that the Laws ticket was not the best choice for the Class of 2007. If I thought it was, then I would have campaigned with them. After working with them on council and seeing their blatant preference of what is good for them over what is good of the Class of 2007, it is clear that a change of priorities needs to be made in our class government. The idea of “service before self” should be simple enough to understand, but it’s not a philosophy being followed in the best interest of the Class of 2007.

Christian HoeffelSt. Edward’s HallSophomoreAug. 27, 2004