OP-EDS

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May 6, 2003

Vote against the Slate that Shagged Me

If elections were determined by how much money candidates spent on advertising, the process of voting could be circumvented by a quick look at the candidates' checkbooks. We all know that there is supposed to be an exchange of ideas, an honest look at the needs of the people, and then an informed decision on the part of the voters. This election, The Slate that Shagged Me, a group of relatively inexperienced college students, has flooded the campus with posters, table tents, and chalkings. I am concerned, however, that their platform is not realistic enough to merit support.

A closer look at their platform yields major problems and questions that need to be resolved. Briefly, their platform: they wish to publish a student government newsletter, increase the speed of posting course evaluations online, shut down breakfast at Pierce and Burton-Judson dining halls, get a new shuttle on 55th Street; and clean up postering around campus.

Increasing communication through a newsletter sent to students and paid for with SG money is unrealistic and unnecessary. Why it is necessary, who would read it, how they would pay for it? Better would be to simply put that money towards RSO spending.

Next, they wish to increase the speed of the posting of course evaluations. This is unnecessary. Course evaluations don't need to be posted for at least two months after they're filled out--the time when new classes will be selected. Furthermore, most classes are only offered once a year, or if they are offered during multiple quarters, it is because they are sequenced.

The most ludicrous idea The Slate that Shagged Me has is to shut down the Pierce and Burton-Judson dining halls for breakfast every day to "centralize breakfast at Bartlett." Bartlett is already crowded enough in the morning.

Finally, their desire to "clean up postering around campus" reeks of hypocrisy. The Slate That Shagged Me taped paper posters to the ground all around campus, where they will be walked on, rained on and torn up over the next week. If they were concerned with "unchecked postering," they'd have only placed their posters in the designated areas.

Any of these complaints would, if taken individually, mean little. However, in the final analysis it becomes clear that The Slate that Shagged Me has presented an unrealistic platform that has little chance not only of coming to fruition, but also of bringing about any kind of meaningful change. Even more damning is their willingness to deceive the chalk-reading public by claiming to have "the most experience." Their candidate for SG president has no elected student government experience here at the University of Chicago.

The Slate that Shagged Me has attempted to pervert this election into psychology, advertising volume, and peer pressure designed to catapult them into power. Their glossy flyers and fancy website use many words to describe few ideas with little intrinsic value.

I rarely have the opportunity in my column to press for honest change or action; my writings about national and international politics go unread by those making decisions. However, the students reading this article have an opportunity to vote.

Though I fully support this newspaper's decision to endorse metamorphosis slate, you must decide for yourself who you think has the appropriate experience and ideology to lead the student body of this school. I urge you to vote.