SA fighting spills out over BlitzMail

by Michael Ross | 11/11/94 6:00am

Angered by Student Assembly's vote Tuesday against holding a student referendum on proposed meal plan changes, Assembly Secretary John Honovich '97 sent BlitzMail messages to several hundred students, spurring them to protest.

Honovich's message urged students to voice their concerns over Tuesday night's outcome to Assembly President Danielle Moore '95 and Vice President Rukmini Sichitiu '95.

In his message, Honovich accused Moore, Sichitiu and other Assembly members who voted against the motion of denying their constituency a voice.

He wrote, "Members, including the Vice-President and President, claimed that students could not understand the content or the effects of the resolution in order to vote intelligibly. Obviously this is not true."

After Honovich's message, Moore and Sichitiu were inundated with electronic messages from students who received Honovich's message.

Moore and Sichitiu sent a reply to these students stating that Honovich misrepresented their position and blasting him for his actions. "We find it reprehensible that the Student Assembly Secretary committed an act of both slander and libel against the President and Vice-President and even more contemptible that he dared to involve the student body in this act," they wrote.

"We argued that we have had more information available to us than other students [on this issue], not because we are superior, but because that is our job as ... members of our student government," they wrote.

"He will be dealt with separately," they wrote. In an interview, Sichitiu declined to elaborate, saying it is a matter between him, Moore and herself.

Honovich responded to Moore and Sichitiu's message approximately an hour later, writing, "infighting is a disease and I will not help spread it." He also apologized in the message for any offense he might have caused and said he "solely wanted students voices to be heard."

Honovich further defended his actions in an interview with The Dartmouth, accusing Moore and Sichitiu of inaccuracies in their message and repeating his opposition to infighting.

"I wish this would stop," he said. "It's ridiculous -- we've been totally sidetracked."

Honovich said a revised version of the referendum motion will come before the general Assembly at one of its next two meetings.

He said the Administrative Affairs Committee passed the new motion at a meeting last night, meaning the Executive Committee will have to put it on the Assembly's agenda for one of its next two general meetings.

The motion, which passed by a vote of five to three with two abstentions, is different from the one defeated Tuesday because it specifically calls for the distribution of information to the student body either by Hinman mail or electronic mail.

Despite the recent Assembly turmoil, Sichitiu stressed the many accomplishments of the current Assembly.

She characterized Honovich's actions as "an abuse of power," and said "[he] has lost my and Danielle's confidence."

Moore said she decided to criticize Honovich publicly because she felt her authority as president was not being respected.

"I think I needed to show a sign of strength. I have tried to maintain a very fair, balanced stance on Student Assembly and I think it leads people to believe I can be pushed around," Moore said.

She said she approved of members garnering student opinion pro-actively, meaning before decisions are made. She is opposed to retroactively polling because once Assembly votes on a resolution, it cannot go back and change it.

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