Letter to the editor
Rule breakers should be harshly punished
May 4, 2007
I am writing to express my extreme regret and disgust that the Student Senate voted Tuesday that election by-laws are not worth defending.
On April 24, the College Republicans, in blatant disregard for obvious election rules, set up a "Vote No To The United Council" table in the University Center on election day. The University Center, for those of you who don't know, is a critical polling place on campus. One would expect a political organization such as the College Republicans to know campaigning within 100 feet of a polling place (in the case of the recent elections ... any computer station) is against election by-laws. However, there they were, campaigning away.
Not that I would expect any less out of their party.
However, that is not what I am on about. I am on about the fact that our Ethics Committee, entrusted by us to make sure issues on campus are handled in a fair and equal fashion, chose to take little more action than to give the cheats a slap on the wrist. And that, when challenged before the full Senate with ample evidence of the lil' G.O.P.'s obvious attempt to sway the vote with this violation, not even a re-vote was instated despite the fact that the referendum was illegally compromised.
Apparently, pictures, eyewitnesses and a transcript of a table reservation, shadily reserved under the title of "College Republicans" rather than "Vote No To U.C." is not enough evidence to decide what this group's intentions were, and what the results of setting up a sign telling people how to vote within arms reach of a polling place is.
It has also become apparent to me that election rules really don't matter, and the price of illegally compromising a vote is a nasty letter. At least, this is the message that this decision is sending.
All that said, I am not trying to flame against Student Senate. I hold the institution in high regard. However, I do regret the discussion and I hope that the new Student Senate will uphold the integrity I expect from such an institution.
Trevor M. Tomesh