Leave politics behind

by The Dartmouth Editorial Board | 1/12/95 6:00am

It's time for the Student Assembly to leave its bickering in the past.

With the election of John Honovich '97 as Assembly vice president Tuesday night, the potential for continued conflict in the Assembly looms larger than ever.

President Rukmini Sichitiu '95 and Honovich -- who were at each other's throats all Fall term -- should now be mature enough and realistic enough to know they must work together.

They should pick non-political, achievable goals for the Assembly to work towards this term, such as the establishment of a Rape Crisis Center, an issue that both leaders say they support.

Both Sichitiu and Honovich said all the right things after Honovich's election. Both said they want to work together and they want to restore the Assembly's reputation.

But if their promises turn out to be nothing more than empty rhetoric, then the Assembly will be doomed to continue its downward spiral.

To be sure, there are going to be times when Sichitiu and Honovich disagree. Sichitiu readily admits her agenda is liberal and Honovich is decidedly more conservative.

Still, the key is for both of them to respectfully disagree in private. If the two leaders have major disagreements on an issue, then they should let the issue lie and move onto something else. The Assembly's dirty laundry has no place in public.

The Assembly exists for two purposes: to give the students a link to the administration and to provide benefits to the students.

Administrators look to the Assembly as an indicator of student opinion, as they probably will with the first-year plan.

When the Assembly sticks to tangible projects, such as the Student Advantage Card or the Dartmouth Dining Guide, it fulfills both of its functions.

But the past two years have been filled with petty politicking that benefits no one. Every Assembly meeting turns into a mudslinging fest where the students get caught up in personalities instead of projects.

Sichitiu and Honovich have one last chance. Danielle Moore '95 resigned as Assembly President last term in large part because she was tired of the bickering. Moore's resignation mirrored the mood of the entire student body. Everyone is tired of the infighting.

If there is any more childish and petty bickering in the Assembly this term, then the student government will lose what little respect it has left.