Thursday, April 27, 2006

Erick's Final Post

I feel silly responding to an anonymous hostile comment (the words "man up" come to mind), but I may as well take the opportunity to slap one more post up here.

The reason Student Government failed: only two of its six members truly believed in the idea of revolution. It was clear to me almost from the beginning that aside from Steve and myself, no one wanted to put forth the effort to make this thing happen. In hindsight, one could make the case that the majority of the group was using SG as a grandstanding tactic to further its ambitions within ASM. (Indeed, at least one writer for the Badger Herald is writing exactly that.)

But should the ending of this admittedly short lived movement be to the shame of those involved, and does its sudden crumbling reflect the dedication of those few of us who came together to try to change the campus for the better? Not really. Do Lapidus, Schulz, and Grosskopf believe that ASM direly needs change as they have claimed, and are they dedicated to shaking things up for the good of the students (as opposed to doing so just to get their names in the papers)? After many brainstorming and debating sessions with the lot of them, I do believe the answer is yes—indeed, of that I have no doubt.

At the same time, I remain of the opinion that any attempt at "reform from within" is fundamentally misguided. ASM needs a complete and total overhaul, and this is why.

A body of college students governing, in some sense, other students should have the ability to excite its constituents about its existence. Yet the demand for parkas in Hell will surge the day five randomly selected UW students can produce among them just one coherent response on what ASM actually does for the campus. In my time here, I've heard no positive things said of ASM outside of my acquaintances that have some direct stake in its existence--which suggests to me that its approval rating at any given time probably sits somewhere left of 1%.

In any case, I'll be here for two more years. If at some point a group of reasonable size is serious about shaking this dysfunctional system up, let me know.

In the meantime, however, I have more pressing things to worry about than the $150 of my pocket change ASM has the power allocate every year, and so do you.


At 4/28/2006 12:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is your last name really "Butzlaff"? Junior high must've sucked for you, dude.

At 4/28/2006 6:13 AM, Blogger Erick B said...

You have no clue =]

At 5/04/2006 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I respect what you guys were trying to do, but you should have realized that all your ASM members wanted was name recognition. Lapidus and company pulled a Mao Zedong on you guys and just channeled revolutionary spirit for the publicity and legitimacy. Thats all you need to get some of the people on this campus to vote for you, and it worked.

For the record, with all the strings you guys pulled for extra coverage in the Badger Herald, I sincerely doubt that certain former Herald-staff members in your organization were above using opaque tactics in the name of your "revolution".

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