Letters to the Editor

    Editor:

    It goes without question that our campus looks markedly different during the A.S. elections campaign period. For many candidates, campaigning via the use of posters, banners and flyers is an important tool. It allows us to get our names and messages out to potential voters.

    But to average students, faculty, staff, prospective students and visitors, the campaign season is a time when the campus takes a hiatus from its normal state and begins to take on the look of a colorful trash dump. Flyers and bulletins cover every inch of open concrete along walkways. Banners and posters hang loosely and sag from awnings, railings, bridges and just about every other flat vertical surface on campus. When the wind blows or the temperature drops below the dew point, campaign materials start to detach themselves and either fall to the ground, fold over or smear to the point that they are unreadable. Candidates are not winning any favors among students by annually trashing the campus during the six weeks known as the campaign period.

    If students were asked to name the most visible aspect of A.S., the most frequent answer would probably be the campaign period, due the proliferation of obnoxious posters and banners. Is that what the A.S. Council really wants? Wouldn’t council members rather be known for the hard work they put in during the other 46 weeks of the year?

    The A.S. Council owes it to its constituents to clean up its act. It is enough to be bombarded by candidates on Library Walk every time we pass through; is it really necessary for candidates to deface the campus and bombard students with massive amounts of visual campaign material?

    What would happen if, instead of spending hours and hours creating enormous quantities of posters, banners and flyers, candidates went to student forums, debates and had other kinds of face-to-face interaction with constituents?

    I propose that the A.S. Council amend its election bylaws to cut down on the amount of campaign material allowed. This change will save candidates money and time, and will allow other student organizations the space needed to post banners. Most importantly, it will return our campus back to its normal, aesthetically pleasing state.

    — Mark Stickel

    Revelle College Council Chair

    Editor:

    Simone Santini’s article very clearly delineated the idea that by electing Ariel Sharon, the Israeli polity allowed the transference of the criminality of one man to an entire nation: their own. The genocide of the Palestinian people we see today in Jenin and Ramallah (or rather the genocide we don’t see – Israel forcefully restricts journalists, as well as medical and humanitarian aid from entering these areas) and countless other Palestinan towns and villages is the direct result of this decision. Within the past two weeks, under the leadership of Ariel Sharon, the latest Israeli incursion has killed over 500 Palestinans, the vast majority of them civilians. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (a branch of the International Red Cross) reports that truck loads of bodies have been taken out of the Jenin refugee camp by the Israeli Army. Every Palestinian who picks up a gun to resist this genocide because the international community has abondoned him, is not only justified in doing so, but is a hero. Who among us will have the courage to stand with him, to assist him in his fight and to mourn him if he dies in his struggle for freedom? The very least we can do is speak out and educate ourselves about the situation and in this reagrd I thank Mr. Santini for writing his article and the Guardian for publishing it.

    — Taha Gaya

    Muir senior

    Editor:

    I saw it all: the great theatrical passion of the election, all the hostilities, uncertainties and melodramas. I saw the petty quibbles about bylaws and the childish flyer wars. I spent hours making and hanging posters, and I lost sleep over hammering wooden stakes into Sun God lawn and patrolling the Old Student Center for the culprits who tore down our signs. I did it all.

    I started to support the Action slate when two of my good friends decided to run with Colin Parent. As the weeks went by, I found myself tagging along to more and more slate meetings — who knows why. It was fun. It was a rush. It was a thrill.

    Let me say here and now that I have never seen a finer collection of leaders than the Action candidates. I’m not speaking merely of leadership, but of integrity, intelligence, heart and passion. How many complaints didn’t we file?

    How many dirty tactics did we think up, but then refuse to use? Whatever your opinion of Mr. Parent is, know that I’ve never seen such quiet, easy charisma in such stressful times. I can also say that, as a bit player in student government for two years now, I can vouch for their experience, capability and initiative.

    And we lost, too. It hurt. It hurt real bad.

    But I am not quite worried – politically speaking, that is. The most important item on that ballot — the thing which was politically crucial — was the Athletics Fee Referendum, and it passed. Hallelujah. I can vouch that our new A.S. Council is a collection of good, capable people. We’ll be fine. The outcome of the election hurt not because it meant that UCSD is going to the dogs, but because it meant such awful disappointment for some wonderful, deserving friends.

    So there’s a lot of pain floating around the A.S. Council now. Sure, Students First got all the executive positions, and most of the commissioner positions as well. But the senators are split nine to six between Students First and Action, and that’s leaving out Brian Israel, who ran and lost on Action but will continue to serve as Marshall freshman senator until fall next year.

    Those numbers also don’t account for the two interim freshman senators who will fill the spots being vacated by Revelle and Warren freshman senators Achim Lyon and Dina Randazzo. Add to that the strong support of certain college council chairs (who sit on the A.S. Council as nonvoting members) and you’ve got a group of fierce politicians split down the middle.

    Jenn Brown’s first test as A.S. president will be to heal and collect a divided, suspicious A.S. Council into a cohesive, productive whole. I will be very upset if this new council does nothing but bicker across partisan lines. I will be very upset if this new council spends its hours fighting over petty resolutions; if it ignores the numerous brave promises it made during campaign season.

    But I’m confident that the new president has the wisdom and political courage to pursue projects from every slate that ran in the election. Athletics. Parking. Passing periods. Student rights. A.S. services and enterprises.

    My friends on the Action slate had a lot of brilliant ideas, and I hope – no, I’m confident – that Brown is committed enough to UCSD to step across party lines and consider these ideas seriously.

    And I’m confident that the Action candidates, through the same commitment, will still involve themselves with student life and see their projects through, one way or another. I would not be surprised if many applied to be an appointed assistant to the person who beat them in the election; it’s not an easy thing to swallow one’s pride, but these people didn’t run for pride’s sake.

    The elections were ugly – very ugly. I’m glad that half the dirt and muck of campaigning never reached the public eye, and I think it should stay that way.

    Now is the time for healing, and it will be rough. But if there is some way to unite the virtues and ideals of both slates, if there is some way to forget that we even had slates, then what will emerge is a strong, healthy A.S. Council and a truly successful election.

    — Ted McCombs

    some guy

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