Letters to the Editor

A.S. Council oaths stifle dissent

Dear Editor,

I am not sure who neutered the members of the A.S. Council, turning them from pie-in the-sky ideologues one imagines of 1960s Berkeley radicals into the pitiful bureaucrats of UCSD, requiring loyalty oaths and running scared from administration edicts that limit student free speech. UCSD’s student representatives are little more than a younger incarnation of other bureaucratic state employees, indebted to the fraternities that put them in office and the administrators who pay their salaries.

Loyalty oaths ensure that only those “loyal” to the views of those in elected offices will receive committee appointments and the stipends that come along with them. Such a policy clearly eliminates all dissent in the ranks of campus government — a policy that actual government officials could only dream of enacting. The claim by Mr. Murphy — that the A.S. Council represents the student body — is absurd because less than 20 percent of the student body votes in student elections, and our A.S. president and vice president finance (Mr. Murphy) received 36 and 41 percent of that vote, respectively. Despite their delusions of grandeur, Mr. Sweeten and Mr. Murphy represent the approximately 1,500 students who voted for them — significantly less than 10 percent of the entire campus. Further, an important distinction is necessary — the A.S. Council does not appoint “A.S. Council representatives” to committees, but “A.S. representatives.” Appointees represent the Associated Students, not the A.S. Council or any particular member of the council.

A.S. vice president finance Greg Murphy claims that appointees must only limit their dissent when they are speaking as A.S. representatives, but such a claim is simply absurd. At best, such a requirement leads to a chilling effect whenever a representative attempts to put forth an opinion, for fear at that moment of being in some “representative capacity.”

When I disagreed with the opinion of former A.S. President Jenn Pae, I was removed and she replaced me with herself on the Registration Fee Advisory Committee. Current and future A.S. presidents should take the steps Ms. Pae did and merely appoint themselves to each of the campus committees to ensure the outcomes they desire. If they do not have time to attend all of these meetings, they can operate in true governmental fashion and appoint their friends — an outcome I assume is intended by such loyalty oaths. Even an administration accused of cronyism — an administration I presume most of the council loathes — has not dared impose such an adjuration upon its nominees.

— Charles Dahan

Eleanor Roosevelt College senior

Report on MCC budget misleading

Dear Editor,

I must clarify the misleading information about the Muir College Council budget presented in “Warren approves higher retreat, internal budget,” on Oct. 13. MCC has budgeted only $200 for its one-day retreat this year. It also contributes to two leadership conferences: the Muir New Leaders conference in the fall and the Muir Spring Leadership Retreat in the spring.

The New Leaders Conference is for new leaders at the college, not exclusively MCC members, and the Spring Leadership Retreat includes house advisors, orientation leaders, Muir organization executives, employees of the Muir College Center and MCC members for the upcoming year. MCC allocated $1,500 for the two conferences this year, the same amount as last year.

Since the leadership conferences are not exclusive to MCC members and are not even planned by MCC, other college groups also contribute funding to these meaningful and college-enhancing events. Clearly, these conferences are not MCC retreats.

MCC always invites all members of the community to engage with us in our discussions on Thursdays at 6 p.m. in Muir’s Half Dome Lounge.

— Neil Spears

Muir College Council chair

Depletion of ozone layer not a crisis

Dear Editor,

In this day and age, many questions arise concerning the environment — with great arguments on both sides of the debate. The issue is of vital importance to environmentalists, and of no importance to critics. I, personally, believe that environmental protection is oftentimes exaggerated by scientists who are hungry for funding or fame (although I must admit there are those rare individuals who do it for the betterment of the world). In Norman Myer’s book, “Scarcity or Abundance?,” the truth is revealed about chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and its so-called “damaging effects.” In fact, “CFCs at the peak of production level were only a quarter of a percent (0.0025) of the amount of chlorine released every year by the sea,” implying that the regulations to decrease human-produced CFCs is absurd and costworthy. The disappearing of the ozone layer is not as huge of a problem as we once thought. Studies have shown that the decrease in ozone may in fact be beneficial toward curing certain diseases. The ultra-violet radiation “stemming from decreased ozone … [reduces] the affects of rickets disease, which results from too little sunlight and Vitamin D.” Nevertheless, human beings are ignorant of the facts and only rely on unsupported media stories and wild guesses — be it environmental protection or U.S. politics.

— Kartavya Vyas

Eleanor Roosevelt College freshman