Honovich Acted in Interests of Students

by Kishan Putta | 11/18/94 6:00am

To the Editor:

The treatment John Honovich '97 has taken over the last few days has been beyond belief. It seems both the Student Assembly leadership and The Dartmouth have ganged up against a sole sophomore whose only concern all along has been for those whom he was elected to represent -- the student body.

Over the controversial new meal plan recommendations, Honovich had a simple request: that student opinion on the issue be properly gauged. In his spare time, fully separate from his role as SA Secretary, he blitzed 300-plus students asking for input.

The overwhelming response led to his proposal of a referendum of the student body on this vital issue. The SA leadership opposed his noble idea. Dedicated to garnering student opinion, he asked for your responses to what had occurred.

More than 100 blitzed back, many of them to the leaders. Some were even good enough student citizens to actually appeal to those who voted against the referendum. They all took a lot of heat for it from the rightly angered students. But that is what all democratic representative politics is about -- constituent pressure, right?

Not according to the leadership -- they were angry that someone had dared involve students in Assembly affairs and especially enraged that their decisions were being questioned -- and they took their anger out on one man -- Honovich -- and asked him to resign.

Indeed, every Exec who signed the request for his resignation had voted against the referendum. Let me be clear: not one supporter of the referendum thought Honovich had done anything wrong -- clearly the formers' accusations were out of passion and not out of concern for the Assembly or the students -- only themselves.

Honovich had nothing to gain politically, contrary to The D's editorial. His own views were not even stated. All he had to gain was the input of the student body.

And for that, he is being asked to resign. How sad. How utterly pathetic that the student representative who cares the most about the student body is the one being persecuted. Nice guys can finish last and those who stick their necks out for their causes often invite decapitation.

But Honovich has a tough neck and he'll stick with it. Hopefully the students he's been dedicated to will return the favor of his strength and thoughtfulness in representing them by showing their support.

Lastly, a grim foreboding faces the Assembly now. Rukmini Sichitiu '95 was a poor enough leader as vice-president but the prospect of her presidency is as scary as the thought of Dan Quayle's.

Sichitiu purchased 27,300 copies earlier this fall and assumed less than $100 would have to be paid for them. Malice is not the issue -- competence is. She has admitted that "all of this could have been avoided if I had just thought about it," as if her lack of thought excuses the loss of more than $1,000 of your student activity fees. No one in the business world would be able to keep a job after such a blunder -- and now we promote her?

In addition, many members have felt that Sichitiu has abused her role as parliamentarian. She has chosen to interpret the rules of order differently throughout the term to cut off debate or to extend it at her will. Further, her conduct in the role prompted the formation of an ad hoc committee on procedure (only to be used in the most extreme disputes) earlier this term.

Sichitiu has been the cause of much conflict and distrust on the Assembly. She has shown that she is not a credible vice president and that tranfers to the downright maddening prospect of her as president.

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