Student Input on D1 Referendum

    The Election Committee and I are currently working to get the language of the referendum out to the student body through social media and through the A.S. Council website, where it has been made public. We are currently working with the A.S. Graphic Studio to produce promotional materials in order to advertise the special election to all students, and these materials will be distributed starting this week. Additionally, we will have an official, unbiased polling location established on Library Walk during Weeks 8 and 9 where students will be able to vote.

    Last week, the Guardian referred to the letter that has been circulated on Facebook as “[alleging] collaborative efforts between A.S. Council and the Athletics Department towards securing the Division I referendum vote.” I want to assure you that there is no collaboration between A.S. Council and the athletics department or any other group who wishes to take a stance with regards to the special election. 

    A.S. Council has taken a neutral stance on the referendum, and any public opinions of Council members do not reflect the stance of Council as a whole or the Election Committee. A.S. Council has been instructed to act under this definition of neutrality: “the state or position of being impartial or not allied with or committed to either party or viewpoint in a conflict.” This is the standard that A.S. Council will be upholding throughout the course of the special election, and I intend to hold Council to that standard. The involvement of A.S. Council and of the Election Committee in the Special Election is to ensure a fair process and to promote informed voting across the entire student body. 

    With that, I hope that students choose to make an informed choice with regards to the Division-I referendum, and I will ensure that their choices are not influenced by the actions of A.S. Council. Shock the vote, UCSD!

    — Courtney Hill

    Sophomore, Marshall College

    Dear Editor,

    The claims of boosting “school spirit” and “positive social effects” are ones that I strongly disagree with.

    One thing about UCSD that I really like, and that makes me really proud to be a student here, is precisely that we are focused on our studies and our individual social organizations, rather than being a single monolithic mob of manics yelling, “UCSD! UCSD!” 

    Increased sports would act directly against this kind of spirit, and I don’t want to see that.

    As for “positive social effects” — I like the way that a common topic at UCSD parties is the classes we’re taking and the research topics we’re working on; I like the fact that most of my fellow students either aren’t involved in any sports, or are involved in unusual, quirky sports that they do because they love them, not because the rest of the school gives them payment, either in love or money. This kind of “social effect” is just fine here, thank you, and increased sports would undermine it.

    That’s why I’m opposed to the Division-I referendum, now or later. The money is another reason why it’s a terribly stupid idea, but that’s not why I oppose it.

    — Jesse Weinstein

    Senior, Sixth College

    Dear Editor,

    I want to applaud Jonathan Sapan for his excellent insights regarding the dangers of moving into Division-I athletics in his letter to the editor that ran in the Feb. 9 Guardian. I agree that our campus will be on a slippery slope if the students vote to make this costly move. And for what? To play a bunch of colleges that give UCSD no greater status than the ones we currently play in Division II? Athletics are not, and SHOULD NOT, be motivated by finances. What we have right now are great student athletes that compete for the love of the game. If this referendum passes, UCSD will permanently alter the basis for athletic success from teamwork and dedication to financial gain and a free ride. Already, students from UC Santa Barbara and UC Davis are dissatisfied with the costliness of their moves to Division I, having gained no benefit from it and are looking into how to reverse the decision.  Do we, the students or our parents, really want to kick in another $165 per quarter, or $2,600 extra during our college careers, during a time that is already financially volatile? With the UC Regents playing the puppet strings of our pocket books, this is the wrong time, and more importantly the wrong REASON, to move to Division I. When I was recruited to play here I was under the impression that UCSD fought to represent our school, to win for each other and to play the sports that shaped and defined our character — not for a free ride and a chance to play the Anteaters. Students, read the referendum. If you can’t find one, scour the A.S. Council website. Get out and vote between Feb. 27 and March 9 by going to tritonlink.ucsd.edu. I’m going to vote a resounding “no” because the results from our student athletes won’t dramatically change, but the repercussions on our student body will. 

    — Nathan Murphy

    Junior, Roosevelt College


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