Letters to the Editor: December 4, 2012

Lost perspective

Dear Editor,

I don’t see UAF as being “Naturally inspiring.” Maybe it’s the chancellor’s disparaging comments to students to be more fiscally responsible while raising tuition year after year or that the university let some agricultural scientists go due to lack of funds (a $48m or thereabouts shortfall) around the same time that they were building a $300m life sciences building. In 2010 I was working for central receiving at UAF and I had to clean out the offices of some employees who got fired because some grant money didn’t go through. The employees had been loyal to the university for years and the program was designed to help rural and non-traditional students in mathematics.

Don’t get me wrong. There is still a lot of good to UAF — But any prestigious university is going to attract intelligent, motivated people, because that’s where they tend to end up at some point in their lives (and some, like your teachers, stay). The geography might be unique, but I’ll bet next semester’s rise in tuition that you can get that “naturally inspired” feeling anywhere because you simply find talented, motivated people anywhere you go.

Chirstopher L. Young 

Editor’s note: Chancellor Rogers wrote the Sun Star to say that he has never made “disparaging comments to students to be more fiscally responsible.”  We think the person the author of the letter is talking about is UA President Pat Gamble and his comments in the last Board of Regents meeting.

ASUAF campaign rules need to change

Dear Editor,

Like years past, this years ASUAF election had a bit of a kerfuffle.

Over the last couple of years, ASUAF has instituted online voting with elections and thus made changes around campaigning online. The rule has been that if you’re a candidate or someone who helped writes a piece of legislation, you have to take down any event page or post dealing with ASUAF Elections. You can only tell people to go vote.

Wednesday night, all candidates and “Vote Yes for ASUAF Fee Increase” were all taken down with no problems. Thursday night, it was brought to my attention that “Vote No for ASUAF Fee Increase” was still up. Dillon Ball, current ASUAF vice president wrote that they were able to keep it up because “Based on my interpretation of these rules is that the “No” page does not need to comply with the no-campaigning rule as it does not represent a candidate.”

I wrote a post because I disagreed that the page was represented by a candidate, Sophia Grzeskowiak-Amezquita who was running as a write-in candidate for ASUAF senate. She was for the “Vote No” ballot, was one of the main contributors for information, and also had information about her campaign on the page. I was then told by Isaac Thompson, creator of the event, and Sophia that limiting there freedom of speech and that “Wait until enough of you get into ASUAF and limit our freedom of speech in the name of helping students express themselves.” Sophia then sent me several messages calling me a disrespectful bully and that I’m creating a “division” between students and ASUAF.

I want to make it clear, I don’t hate the players. I hate the game.

Last year I thought the system was problematic and I brought up that it would be so easy to create a fake profile or have a friend run a campaign site and you would never have to take it down. The “Vote No” group thought the same thing and went did that.

The reason candidates have to take down the pages is because since voting is online, Facebook or any other social media site could be considered within a polling station. I understand why, but for the last two elections have been a problem and it needs to change.  I say just let everybody leave it up so we don’t run in to this again.

All I can say it that I’m going to have a really fun time at ASUAF meetings.

John Seiler

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2 Responses

  1. Christopher L Young says:

    John, I find it interesting that the rule against having political views for ASUAF stances online is because “facebook or other social media” can be considered within a polling station because that really doesn’t actually make any sense and because as I understand national election rules, it doesn’t matter if you’re affialated with the party, or not.

    If ASUAF wants to be taken seriously they should change this.

  2. Christopher L. Young says:

    I would just like to correct myself. I have been informed that it was not the chancellor but the president who made the remarks.

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