Misrepresented

by Paul Vickery | 7/13/01 5:00am

The '03 Class Council may be getting new officers, but rest assured that we will still have to put up with the same phony leadership that has defined our esteemed Councilmen from the beginning. A brief glance at Council activities quickly disproves any notion of representation and shows us what our Class Council is really about.

From babbling meetings to pointless and highly annoying BlitzMail messages, we see nothing more than leadership for leadership's sake, discussion for discussion's sake and programming for programming's sake. These power-hungry leaders have no other objective than their own self-promotion. They are a mockery of real leaders and an embarrassment to the College. And there is no hope for improvement, because the problem lies in the nature of the organization and its purported objectives.

The basic idea found in Council rhetoric is class unity through '03 events and as an expression of '03 student opinion. The problem with each of these areas is that there are only two class-specific events (the Homecoming bonfire and Parents' Weekend, both of which could be handled by the College) and no class-specific opinion. So those involved in the Class Council are not there for any real objectives, since those of our class cannot be generalized.

They are quite the opposite of real leaders. Real leaders give of themselves to a cause; they do not use a purported cause to give to themselves. Most '03s have come to recognize the shallowness and frivolity of the Council but remain dangerously unaware of the threat it poses to our campus. Think for a moment what could happen if the administration gave these Council leaders real power. There are serious problems with putting power in the hands of those who are only leaders because they seek power. More power would lead to misguided and haphazard leadership on a grand scale and would create serious problems. Even now, these leaders squander substantial administrative and financial resources ($4500 this term), never stopping to think about whether what they are doing is good for the campus. The '03 Class Council poses a real threat to this campus, and every '03 should be concerned.

Worst of all, they operate under the disgraceful guise of representing our interests. It would seem that they would need our approval to parade around with the label of '03. I never knew it was possible to be a self-declared spokesperson, without any approval from your clients. But then again, our council leaders have always thought of themselves as far above the usual rules. What else would explain why candidates are actually encouraged to send mass unsolicited BlitzMail messages? And what about lying about free food and t-shirts at their very first event? Or forcing me to start a blitzwar in order to be taken off their blitz list? I, for one, am fed up with their holier-than-thou pretentiousness that justifies treating us non-Council affiliates as unworthy of basic respect. I am fed up with phony leaders, fed up with misrepresentation, and fed up with student apathy on the whole condition.

It is time for change. Instead of complete derecognition, I would suggest a significant scaling back of the Class Council. For it is true that Class Council can serve one useful function. I have observed on this campus a number of students who feel that they should effect change for change's sake, speak out on issues for speaking out's sake, etc. In short, these students feel that they should be campus leaders, never mind the issue or goal. Class Council provides a good medium for fulfilling this leadership urge. These student leaders can go to Class Council, take minutes of themselves, and feel good about themselves for doing something on campus. With significant withdrawal of funds and College support, I think I could accept the '03 Class Council as a good place to relegate this flavor of leadership. As for now I just hope and pray that Tim and Svante prove to be weak leaders. Meanwhile, we '03s should take a stand for what is right, and against what is wrong at our College.