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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Criticism of UCS committee selection flawed

By
Thursday, April 25, 2013

To the Editor:

Daniel Moraff’s ’14 accusation that the Undergraduate Council of Students appointed “people in the social circles of student government kids” is a gross mischaracterization (“The bogus strategic planning process,” April 24). The provost approached UCS and asked us to suggest students to appoint within five days. So we appointed members of the community that had been previously vetted in the democratic appointments process Moraff mentioned earlier in his piece. We considered people who had previously applied and served on University committees.

We did not simply pick our friends. We picked people who had knowledge relevant to the different strategic planning committees and had experience mobilizing student opinion (half with no student government experience). For example, we appointed Brown for Financial Aid President Alex Mechanick ’15, who helped lead a successful petition-gathering campaign, to the Committee for Financial Aid. It was his effort that assured student opinion, which favors fully need-blind and reducing parental contributions, ended up in the final report.

Our appointees have represented their peers admirably, and that should not be belittled. If Moraff is concerned about the process, he should gather other students, including the strategic planning committee representatives. Challenging undesirable aspects and engaging with stakeholders is more effective than dismissing the process all together. What all need to remember is that actions speak louder than words, and united actions are more powerful than individual tirades.

Anthony White ’13

UCS President

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  1. Daniel Moraff says:

    Anthony,

    Respectfully, five days is plenty of time for a student government actually interested in engaging students to, you know, engage students. With the magic of digital computers UCS has the power to contact all of us at any time. It didn’t, and that pretty much shut out most of the student body.

    I’m aware of the power of organizing. I think it’s a little weird that whenever lefty kids who actually organize at this school write things, this strange pro-administration bloc tells them to organize more. It’s kind of bizarre to argue that trying to influence the discourse is pointless. “Actions speak louder than words?” I’m not sure what you expect from a newspaper which is composed entirely of words. Any halfway decent organizer is aware that words are useful things.

    We organize plenty, and it’s a bummer that UCS seems less interested in helping than in cozying up to the president.

    (P.S. I agree that your appointees shouldn’t be “belittled.” Schwartz and Melanie and Mechanick are great guys. I agree so much that I even wrote in the column that “this isn’t to denigrate the people serving on these committees. They have done some good work and collected some useful data, and bear no responsibility for the fatal flaws in the process.” Not exactly sure how you didn’t see that.)

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