Prospective CC MinCo reps

By now you may have heard the impassioned plea of Nathan Winstanley, candidate for the position of College Council Minority Coalition Representative. I’m sure you were initially led to conclude that his is an issue of whether or not queer students or Caucasian students are qualified to run for the position, and whether or not he has been treated unfairly in his candidacy because he is queer and/or Caucasian.

However, this is not a question of either; this issue revolves around the matter of how well each candidate can convince the electorate that he is the most capable person to effectively represent the interests of the minority community, which have been historically undervalued in the mainstream mindset of College Council.

Two of the write-in candidates, Catherine Mercado and Ezemudi Redwood, presented their case for election before MinCo at our meeting on Tuesday. At that point, the representatives of the subgroups had an opportunity to converse with them, and ultimately evaluate how well they would represent MinCo’s interests. In contrast, Winstanley has campaigned on every imaginable platform except that which outlines current issues affecting MinCo-CC relations, and how he plans to address them. Instead, he boasts that, as a past member of Council, he has a similar voting record to the MinCo reps. However, he has not provided evidence to validate his claim. Furthermore, many wonder if this is truly a credible qualification for the position. There is no guarantee that in deciding to vote, Winstanley was motivated by the considerations of MinCo’s interest. Merely invoking similar voting records is a practice discredited by the possibility that it may have been incidental.

However, the most disheartening aspect of Winstanley’s actions has been his manipulative, ill-spirited and arrogant challenge of the legitimacy of the write-in candidates for the MinCo rep position. Assuming that all the candidates seek to serve the common goal of representing the interests of minorities on this campus, why should he vehemently try to discredit any of them? Shouldn’t he, at this very moment, be trying to convince the electorate that, when compared to the other candidates, he is the most aware of minority issues on this campus, and that he possesses more enthusiasm and skill in representing them effectively before Council?

Winstanley pompously declares, “As for the ESC’s request for me to pursue the elections in good faith, refraining from any negative, untrue campaigning with regards to the ESC, I will reserve my right to fight this wholly unfair action as long and as far as I have to. I continue to believe that I was treated unfairly, and I will continue to fight this decision until the ESC takes corrective measures” [email to MinCo listserve, dated March 7]. Like many others, you may be asking yourself what is bothering him. The answer is simple: the inclusion of the three write-in candidates has converted a two-person race (Winstanley and Carlos Ramirez ’06) into a five-person race for the two positions. How is it that the presence of the write-in candidates is an affront to his sense of equity? In the democracy that we cherish, shouldn’t the electorate be given options? Why should two candidates win by default? What corrective measures does he desire? Perhaps the removal of Catherine, Ezemudi and Zorin? For what reason?

He has pointed out that they were tardy in declaring their candidacy. However, as the ESC has pointed out, he too was late in submitting his self-nomination. Therefore, many wonder why he did not yield to his great sense of equity by withdrawing his tardy candidacy when the ESC originally placed him in the election packet.

Do Winstanley’s incessant attempts to discredit Catherine, Ezemudi and Zorin evince the spirit that Williams students desire in their student government representatives? Ultimately, this is not an issue of whether or not queer or Caucasian students are qualified to run for the CC MinCo Rep position. Anyone who is concerned about the quality of life for minorities on this campus would make a good MinCo representative. The crux of the problem lies in the fact that, instead of trying to convince the electorate that he is aware of the issues that affect minorities on this campus, Winstanley appears to be consumed by an attempt to discredit the write-in candidates.