The Behrend College collegian. (Erie, Pa.) 1993-1998, April 30, 1998, Image 5

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Greeks respond to
election coverage
Dear Editor,
As members of the sororities and
fraternities here at Behrend, we
want to express our anger and irri
tation at the anti-Greek attitudes
that have prevailed in Collegian ar
ticles throughout the past year. The
editorial and the SGA election ar
ticle in last week’s issue pushed it
too far. We do not appreciate the
fact that, just because the authors
were opinionated against Greek life,
that they automatically assumed
that we conspired against the rest
of the student population to “take
over” the SGA elections. Get the
facts straight. To those of us that
are currently senators and officers
of SGA, the editorial was nothing
but insulting. SGA is not a Greek
toy. In fact, Greek interests are
rarely if ever an issue, unless the
Panhellenic and Interfraternity
Council representatives have busi
ness to conduct. We would like to
correct the unfounded opinions that
were presented as fact last week.
First, there’s the issue of the list.
You know, the list that the Greeks
were apparently forcing everyone
to take as they walked into Reed.
Right? Wrong. That list was mere
campaigning, about which there is
nothing illegal unless it is done di
rectly in front of the voting booth.
It wasn’t. Furthermore, the list was
given only to sorority and fraternity
members, only so that they would
know which candidates were
Greek. We did not have to vote for
any one of these candidates. The
majority of us did not vote directly
from the list. Think about it. Why
would a fifty-vote spread exist be
tween the Greek candidates if ev-
Don’t take remarks so seriously
Dear Editor,
In response to the letter to the edi
tor that bashed some students in the
April 9th article entitled “SGA is
sues report on Station Road busi
nesses,” I have a few things to say
to Prof. Champagne.
I feel that I must let you know
how much it annoys me when
someone who seems to be a cru
sader for the acceptance of differ
ence cannot accept what other
people have to say unless it goes
along with his or her own beliefs.
No matter what anyone does, it is
never correct —someone is always
offended. You have taken the ar-
“I would attempt to integrate com
munities more. Feelings of separat
ism lead to feelings of contempt. If
people lived in the same neighbor
hoods, worked at the same jobs and
went to the same schools, they may
be more accepting.”
“Advocate the recruitment of more
minorities into college institutions.”
“Somehow try to get all races to
see eye-to-eye.”
“I would ask that all races look
past colors for a moment and treat
everyone equally. I’m not talking
about a giant, global hug, but basic
“Make people realize that it’s not
the color of a person’s skin that mat
ters, it’s what kind of mind a person
has that counts; I don’t know how
or if ever this change will be made.”
“The justice system. African-
Americans receive totally unfair
treatment in the courts and that is one
of the roots of the problems of rac
-1 u
“Stop Affirmative Action!”
“One thing I would do is try to
avoid the reverse discrimination be
ing portrayed on movies and televi
“Do away with segregation!”
“I don’t believe the idea of racism
will ever change, but hate crimes
eryone relied upon the list? We
have one word: campaigning.
That’s all it was. If you remember,
The Collegian published a few
campaign letters itself prior to this
And just because this list was cir
culating, the Greeks ganged up on
all other organizations to steal the
SGA. Right? Before complaining
that eleven of the seventeen Senate
candidates were Greek, and that ten
of these candidates won, maybe you
should congratulate their participa
tion. It’s admirable that our orga
nizations support one another. With
most of the participation in this
election being Greek, it’s no sur
prise that our candidates received
the most support. More people
could have run for senate seats, and
more people could have voted.
Only six of the seventeen candi
dates were not Greek. It’s not our
fault. As for trying to take over
SGA, nine of the thirteen current
senators are Greek, again reflecting
our participation. As we mentioned
before, Greek interests do not pre
dominate now, so why would they
next year?
Finally, those of us on SGA now
were appalled that we were even ac
cused of handling the election
poorly. SGA has a system of run
ning the elections that ensures that
people will vote only once. Each
person that votes is supposed to
show his or her ID and get his or
her name crossed off a master list.
The voting booth counts the num
ber of people that have voted, inde
pendently of the number of candi
dates for which each person voted.
According to Christa Bucholtz,
tide at hand way too personally and
I feel that it is about time that some
one returns your backlash. In my
eyes, you are a key example of why
this country is so “messed up.”
Freedom of speech gave those stu
dents the ability to say what they
did, me the freedom put it in black
and white and you the chance to
express your disgust. However, I
think that you were a little brash.
Granted, conflict is what makes this
country that we live in so interest
ing and I bet that if we were to sit
down over a cup of coffee or some
thing we would clash over quite a
few topics. But, how else do people
need to stop.”
“Educate people from a young age
on the sources of stereotypes. Hit
the elementary schools.”
“...I think that people need to be
less sensitive. Not everything said
about another race is intended to be
“Offer more opportunities for
people to meet each other and share
“Change our government in a way
that everyone gets a fair chance.”
“Not put so much emphasis on it—
it only heightens the differences. It
shouldn’t even be an issue.”
“Educate your children by talking
to them.”
The root of prejudice and rac
ism where thought to be:
“It seems to me that these views
are passed from generation to gen
eration and they continue because of
fear of unknown things.”
“Lack of education and willing
ness to understand.”
“Fear of difference.”
“Fear, hate, misunderstanding.”
“I feel that long-running stereo
types are the root of the problem. It
becomes easy to blame problems on
stereotyped images of other races.”
“The fact that whites were domi
nant in the U.S. for many years, now
Chair of the Election Committee,
the number of names crossed off the
list matched the number of names
registered on the voting booth. If a
person’s ID card wasn’t checked, it
was only because one of the two
people running the voting booth
knew this person personally. The
Greeks managing the voting booth
did not allow people to vote more
than once, and did not allow them
to vote under a different name. We
have more respect than that.
As much as we want to avoid be
ing rude, The Collegian is giving
us no choice. We did not run or vote
for SGA to promote Greek interests
or to give ourselves a title, but to
become involved, as we do in vari
ous other organizations that we join.
If we’re not mistaken, hasn’t a lack
of participation been a problem? If
there weren’t such hostility between
the newspaper and the Greek orga
nizations when our interests do
arise, we wouldn’t always be on the
defensive. But now, we don’t ap
preciate how our involvement is
automatically seen as a selfish con
spiracy. All we ask for is respect
and support, not constant bashing.
Julie Meyers A£A, SGA Senator,
Mandy Elder A£A, SGA Senator,
Doug Watkins ZBT, SGA Senator,
Buck Goedicke ZBT, SGA Senator,
Andrea DiPlacido 04>A, SGA
Senator and Vice President, Tim
Smith ZBT, Current SGA Senator
and Vice President, Craig
Dombkowski £TT\ SGA Senator,
Rita Camillo 04>A, SGA Senator,
Joe Tripodi AX, Former IFC Rep
resentative, Dan Plonski ZBT, John
Butler AX, Former SGA President,
leam from one another if they do
not have different views on things?
So please, the next time that you
want to talk about being “objective”
and use Samuel Delany as your ex
ample, take a good look at your own
actions and attitude. It is very easy
to point a finger at someone but re
member that there are always four
fingers pointing right back at you.
I do understand, on another level,
how one might be offended by the
comments. However, that is all that
they were—comments, words. The
students who used the expressions
were not saying them to offend any
one but Housing and Food Services
other races are beginning to change
that and whites believe that they built
everything we live by today, and
other races are trying to take that
away from us (whites).”
“Nobody knows why. It’s blamed
on how parents raise children or it’s
because they are bad or maybe it’s
because nobody of another race lives
in Tannersville or Moon, PA, etc.
Races tend to isolate themselves.”
“People want to feel superior to
others at any cost.”
“Prejudice and racism have always
been present. Merely looking differ
ent is the root of racism.”
The only way that people today
could ever be “blind” to race is to go
back and rewrite history. Back to Bib
lical times, Pilgrims and slavery—
we would have to change it all and
make everyone equal. The need for
supremacy must be erased from
everyone’s minds. Unfortunately, a
time machine has not been invented
like in “Back to the Future” and we
cannot go back. We must merely live
with each other’s differences and love
one another for them. There are
many other things that people can
base fights on besides color. That is
what sports and board games are for.
Lori Betters ASA, Carley Downs
ASA, Wendy Driscoll ASA,
Joanne Perotta ASA, Carrie Runski
ASA, Stacey Schenker ASA, Sh
annon Lenze AST, Kelly
Updegraph AST, Kate Wombacker
AST, Mark Kacprowicz AX, Glenn
Rishel ZBT, Megan Doyle OOA,
Joe Angelo KAP, Patrick Corrigan
KAP, T.J. Dye KAP, Ed Haft KAP,
Matt Irwin, Chadwick Knight KAP,
Don Largent KAP, Donny Pastorius,
Rob Shaffer KAP, Scott Tennant
KAP, Todd Beddick, Nate Eberhardt
STT, Joe Gadani STr, Ed Hanlon
STT, Steve Tomlinson STr, Jim
Buzzard, Jennifer Teasdale
Editors * Response
Editors and reporters for this
newspaper observed the following
at the SGA polling place last Tues
• A SGA and fraternity member in
charge of the polling place distrib
uting the Greek endorsement list to
a student coming up to vote.
• The Greek endorsement list being
handed out to non-Greeks.
• Students unknown to the SGA
member running the polling place
not being asked for their ID or so
cial security number.
The Collegian stands by its report
ing on the SGA elections.
and they chose the phrases, “It feels
like Housing and Food Services
make you drop your drawers and
touch your toes” and “Housing and
Food Services, why you riding
mine?” because they thought that
the students reading the article
would (more likely than not) inter
pret them as they intended them to
be read. More or less, it was a joke.
An effective way to say how much
they do not appreciate the high
prices that are charged for food and
the poor quality of the living areas.
Yes, maybe they do not enjoy be
ing penetrated from behind as some
people do. Those who do like it,
The Behrend College Collegian. Thursday. April M). !99H - page 5
Students support
in SGA
Dear Editor,
In the spirit of politics I firmly be
lieve that in order to compete for an
important political position one must
be willing to campaign. The “Greek''
organizations that these elected Sena
tors and SGA offieers belong to are
only a part of the persons that they
are. If we take some time to look
beyond the “letters,” we see that each
candidate has had experience with
SGA or other political positions. In
a way, by labeling all elected sena
tors on that list with the title “Greek”
the editorial staff commits a form of
discrimination. Perhaps not as seri
ous as racial bigotry, it is however
just as harmful. When one forgets
about people as individuals he be
gins to stereotype. By saying “Oh
he’s another ZBT/Sig Tau/KDP/
Skin” or “She must be this way be
cause she’s a Theta Phi/ASA/AST”
one is making a dangerous generali
zation. These “Greeks” who were
elected are individuals, just like you
and me.
When I read the newspaper (which
is innately apolitical vehicle as well)
and see that the editors are incensed
by a list of individuals who happen
to have one thing in common, it
seems trivial. Possibly I feel this way
because since the beginnings of time
people with ideas in common have
been getting together and campaign
ing in a group. They called these
people political parties. One may
become upset because a certain po
litical party holds the majority of
seats in the SGA, but to become up
set at the “Greeks” for being involved
in campus student government is a
travesty. There is nothing wrong with
campaigning as a group. Any politi
cal science major will tell you it is
one of the strongest modus operandi
for being elected.
If the editors of this paper are so
upset with the election results, per-
Dear Editor,
Your article in The
Collegian’s April 23, 1998 issue is
extremely one sided. The student
participation in the recent student
government elections can be charac
terized by the mismanagement of the
elections by its organizers. There
was no announcements of the elec
tions by any professors, any student
involved in the election process, or
no information was posted on any
bulletin board. The assumption that
good for them! Have a ball! No
one is trying to stop you (plural).
Who are you to judge them for that?
And to try to answer your question,
“Would you want to be intimate
with someone who thinks that sex
with him is equivalent to the ‘screw
L.O 0
haps they should have run for SGA
office. This would have been a good
idea since three of the most impor
tant positions went unopposed,
namely president, vice president and
secretary. Lack of participation
means either 1.) People aren't inter
ested in Student Government or 2.)
That people who are interested, aren't
willing to campaign for a position.
Perhaps they would rather write edi
torials proclaiming their disgust of
people who were willing to run for
Frankly, each individual Senator/
Officer should be congratulated for
the offices they campaigned for.
They should not be slandered for the
unsubstantiated acts of corruption.
The idea of joining a list of people
who share a common bond with you
is truly American, and to condemn
anyone who would is un-American.
Politics exists, even in its smallest
form on the Behrend campus. The
only way to do something about the
election results is to run for office
next election term. One may say,
“Why should I run for office if only
‘Greeks’ get elected? I say “Greeks"
get elected because they campaign.
How can anyone encourage par
ticipation if no one willingly acts?
The example being the voter turnout.
Only 237 people eared enough about
SGA to vote, maybe most of them
belonged to the candidates’ Greek or
ganizations. Perhaps that is how they
became elected. The larger issue is
the ineptitude of the student body to
voice their opinion in the SGA by
voting. Some may say that people
do not feel included because the SGA
is now a “Greek" majority. I remind
you that behind each different set of
letters, there is an individual who was
elected as your Senator, and is there
to serve you. the student body.
Steve Murphy
07, Biology
the GREEKS are taking over student
government is a figment of
someone's warped imagination.
Many non-Greeks have friends that
are Greeks. If your paper sees the
last recent student government elec
tions as some weird conspiracy, all I
can say is WAKE UP AND GET A
James Koc
08, Operations Management
ing’ he gets from Housing and Food
Services?” Personally, my answer
would be "No” but you know how
big some men’s egos are.
Joet Kolano
02 DUS