To the Editor:
On a college campus, it is essential that the student government be reported on by a publication which will ask tough questions and provide criticism. But there exists a line between a fact-based critique and jumping to baseless conclusions. This line was crossed last week in the Record’s editorial on College Council’s response to a representative’s attendance appeal (“Calling for Consequences,” Feb. 12).
As the leaders of an organization that is governed by a set of bylaws, constitution and precedent, we ensured that this process unfolded exactly as these documents prescribe. As co-presidents, we were required to cast the tie-breaking vote, and we gave the pros and cons serious consideration. Contrary to what the editorial claimed, we made the choice that we thought to be in the best interests of College Council and the student body, not simply the easiest. While we understand the Record may disagree with our decision to break the tie and not expel the member, their characterization of the process as not being “trustworthy” is simply factually inaccurate.
So too is their accusation that it lacked transparency. All College Council meetings are open and advertised to the student body. Our minutes are accessible online. We meet with the Record editor-in-chief each week to keep him or her updated on our activities. Our agendas are posted on Facebook. We even put up newsletters in bathrooms to ensure students know what is happening on campus (check out this week’s in a stall near you).
College Council and the Record both exist to serve the student body. We do that in different ways and sometimes this means we must be critical of each other. However, there must be a level of trust between the organizations, and this trust is eroded when the criticism is hyperbolic and not factually accurate. We appreciate the Record retracting last week’s editorial and hope that in the future both organizations continue to work to maintain a productive relationship based on mutual respect.
Max Heninger ’14 and Adrian Castro ’14
College Council Co-presidents