Monday, April 03, 2006

New Student Government Must be Anti-Authoritarian

With ASM focusing their time on friviously spending your SEG fees, Transgendered Bathroom Campaigns, and promoting impractical diversity initatives, the puppets up on the 5th floor have failed to do one of their essential duties: Keep the administration off the students backs!!

We continue to see Wiley and Co. up on Bascom infringe upon student's rights within the dorms and on this campus. The most blatant misuse of UW's power was the Parental Notification Policy:

But a new UW policy is reminding those who misuse their newfound freedoms that Mom and Dad are just a phone call away. The policy — formally enacted by Chancellor John Wiley Wednesday — provides a routine procedure for the parents of at-risk undergrads under the age of 21 to be notified of their son’s or daughter’s unacceptable activities....Berquam, who will oversee much of the parent-university correspondence, said students at UW — especially underage drinkers — must be held accountable for their actions.

ASM should have immediately denounced this policy last fall. I believe that Andy Gordon was the only one to even mention that ASM should take action. Nothing was done. I think the student body understands that since 99.9% of us are 18 years old, we are adults and the law serves as a just punishment. Calling our parents like nannies is ridiculous and should have been immediately denounced and protested by the ASM student government.

Recently my friend Rob of the ACLU worked to change UW Housing's harassment policy that clearly violated free speech. ASM was nowhere to be found. Why go through an organization that sees UW's Administration, Housing, and other bureaucracies as strong and model institutions rather than the bloated, discriminatory, and inefficient institutions that truly exist? Why didn't the student government catch these poor housing policies in the first place and why didn't the ASM Student Council at least publicly praise the ACLU on working to fight injustice?

Also, why hasn't ASM taken any action against UHS and their support for PACE, an organization that clearly does not fit the agenda of students and is a waste of resources. This organization's whose main goal is to cut down on binge drinking on campus, is undeniably out of place on our party driven campus. While it's of my opinion, that binge-drinking is out of control here on campus and that students should find other ways to have fun and socialize, it is not the government's job to be infringing upon the parties of students and local businesses that sell alcohol. If we are going to fund UHS through our SEG fees, shouldn't the student body withhold funds to UHS or at the very least denounce this institution's ties.

The Student Government should make fighting the Administration, Housing, UHS, and other institution's policies a key component of the government. ASM is worthless and would rather patronize the University than fight their discriminatory actions and worthless bureaucracies. Any government can do better than ASM in its current shape and form. Also, with The Student Government planning on not having professional staff, deriding the university will be easier. We can put the University of Wisconsin in its place, but clearly not through ASM.


At 4/04/2006 6:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Timmyscape. It's nice to see that you have so much passion for changing the things you see as wrong. It is, however, difficult to take seriously some of the things you have written. I've picked two quotes to better illustrate what I'm talking about here:

"UW's Administration, Housing, and other bureaucracies [are] bloated, discriminatory, and inefficient institutions"

How so? It seems a stretch to say that the examples cited (parental notificaion, an (old) harassment policy, and PACE) are enough to brand UW Administration et al. as such a malign influence.

Furthermore, what steps would Student Government take to reduce bloat, discrimination, and inefficiency?

"Any government can do better than ASM in its current shape and form."

This statement, aside from being hyperbole, does not do anything to inform me about what makes Student Government good. What safeguards would prevent Student Government from becoming as foul as you claim ASM is?

I suspect that backers of Student Government wish to present themselves (and, by extension, Student Government) as measured and reasonable; they can ill-afford to be seen as working from ideological -- rather than facts-based -- positions. Statements such as those I quoted above do little to create that impression.


At 4/04/2006 10:12 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Maybe my statements were a little hyperbolic, but the main message should have sunken in. ASM hasn't stood up for student rights in the past like it should. They also don't work to fight inefficiencies within the UW system that they fund (ie Union, UHS, etc). I would hope that Student Government have a "report of rights" or "report on the UW Administration" each meeting to bring up possible violations by any UW affiliated institution so that UW stays in its place, educating students. This is a college, not a babysitting service or community organization. We come here to learn and the University has chosen many times to get involved where they shouldn't. Student Government hopefully can rise to the challenge.

At 4/05/2006 12:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree that the main point of the original post was abundantly clear; you believe ASM is bad. That is not, however, the issue I was trying to address. What I am saying is that your post is doing two things that are counterproductive: 1) making claims for which you don't present enough evidence and 2) tearing down ASM when it would be more productive to build up Student Government. Both of these reflect poorly on Student Government at a time when it is trying to present itself as a positive alternative to ASM.

The idea about a regular "report of rights" is something that I think would be interesting to explore further. How do you forsee that working?



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