Not a Case of Partisan Politics

by Scott Rowekamp | 11/18/94 6:00am

To the Editor:

Any student who has been following the recent events of the Student Assembly has got to be confused. Why was John Honovich '97 asked to resign? Are the liberals ganging up on him? What's going on? I would like to clarify things.

First off, this should in no way be construed as a personal attack on Honovich. I like and respect him personally, and there's no doubt in my mind that the other signatories feel the same way.

The action taken by eight members of the Executive Committee was the culmination of a very complicated and precarious situation. We felt that we could no longer work effectively alongside Honovich, and, after careful thought and consideration, we decided that this was the best solution to the problem.

I would describe myself as an active conservative. Honovich and I are very similar in our political beliefs and activities: we are both very active in both CUaD and The Beacon. So why would I, as someone who agrees politically with Honovich 99 percent of the time, ask for his resignation from the Assembly?

The answer is simple. The Assembly is not about politics. It is about working productively to benefit the students of this campus. And frankly, I no longer feel that Honovich is a productive member of the Assembly -- he has become counterproductive.

The most serious issue, to me, is the fact that Honovich deliberately misrepresented the positions of Danielle Moore '95, Rukmini Sichitiu '95, and all Assembly members who voted against the Meal Plan Referendum (which failed by a vote of 18-13).

He sent out numerous mass blitzes and put up posters stating, or at least implying, this general argument: The president, vice-president, and other members of Assembly don't think that Dartmouth students are smart enough to understand the new Meal Plan proposal. Thus they can't vote intelligently on the issue, thus we should not hold a referendum.

This argument was, of course, utterly false. Not one person on the Assembly ever stated or implied that Dartmouth students were not intelligent enough to understand the new Meal Plan Proposal. There are very few things that a Dartmouth student can't understand, and we all know this.

Those who state that Honovich was merely trying to "gain student input" miss the point. This is a classic question of "Do the ends justify the means?" His goals are not at issue here -- they were undoubtedly admirable. But I must question the actions he took to achieve these goals. Was he justified in lying to the student body in the name of "student input?"

In conclusion, I would just like to say that I have a great deal of personal respect for John Honovich. He has a tremendous amount of energy and is an extremely hard worker. Unfortunately, this year he has consistently used that energy to work against the Assembly and ultimately the entire student body. The Assembly should not be a political body.

We deal mostly with student services, not political issues. Thus, it is possible for members of the Assembly to disagree politically and still work together productively. Although I agree with Honovich politically, I sometimes disagree with his methods. Because he lied to the student body to further his concerns, because he did this in an unethical manner and because he had been consistently counterproductive in Assembly this year, I, even as a fellow conservative, asked him to resign.