Right-Wing Slant in UGBC and The Heights will hurt Boston College
The Editorial Board of The Patriot
After a divisive election, we had hoped Luke and Ben would move to unite the campus. While we still have this hope, we are disturbed by the appointment of Chris Pizzo, to Chief of Staff, the highest appointed position within UGBC. We are also distressed by the appointment of Doug Bush to the post of Executive Director of Social and Cultural issuesa position that has traditionally been held by individuals with a concern for social justice.
Chris Pizzo, Chief of Operations for College Republicans, was the driving force behind the Observer's return to campus. The blatant bigotry, sexism, racism, and homophobia printed during Pizzo's tenure as editor-in-chief of the Observer, has offended a great number of people on campus in the last two years. In March of 2003, he wrote, "What's Wrong with Intolerance"if Pizzo cannot figure that one out on his own, do we really want him in a position of power? Pizzo also attacked the funding of LGBC by UGBC, claiming that they promote "anti-Catholic" values. His outrageous claim that LGBC issues fail to include "all students in the university" flies in the face of the 1,500 students that attended the Rally for Equality.
UGBC is more than just a group of people who plan concertsin recent years, the members of each administration have worked hard to further campus dialogue, improve the quality of student life and help the fight for social justice. Unfortunately, Luke and Ben have only tacitly supported the movement for equality on campuswe seriously doubt their commitment when for many, Chris Pizzo and his ties to The Observer symbolize intolerance, bigotry, and hate.
Not only has a conservative hardliner been appointed to Chief of Staff, one has also been appointed as Executive Director of the Social and Cultural Issues Department. The department includes the Directors of Social Issues, Environmental Issues, GLBT Issues and Women's Issues. Doug Bush, Director of Political Affairs for College Republicans, will be leading what many would argue is necessarily the most liberal department in UGBC. When we think of the ruckus raised by conservatives on campus about finding a middle ground, and being balanced in views between the left and the right, we are disappointed in the choice of two very conservative men to help lead the government. While we wish to give Doug Bush the benifit of the doubt, we are concerned that a member of a political party, which has been at best lukewarm in its support of social justice, environmental protection and minority issues, will be steering the direction of these fights here at Boston College.
With UGBC firmly entrenched in the hands of conservatives, we now turn our attention to the Heights. We have noticed a disturbing trend during the last year of publication, which claims to "serve the Boston College community". The Heights has a powerful influence on campusan influence that very well may have tipped the balance in the last UGBC election. The paper chose not to run a full story about the campaign violations that Luke and Ben were accused of (and were summarily given a get out of jail free card by the Elections Committee).
Although the Heights has run multiple stories speaking out against Ravi Kalwani and the harm he caused with the "Freshman Disorientation Packet", they have failed to print a single story covering the Rally in last week's issue. We do acknowledge that a story was sent out immediately following the rally (via email) but feel that this was grossly insufficient coverage for such a momentous day at Boston College.
while this alone is inexcusable, the fact that they charged UGBC approximatly eight-hundred dollars for a fullpage ad in support of the referendum, raises questions about their motives.
Lastly, the Heights had written nothing, as of Monday's issue, on Luke and Ben's appointments to UGBC. They did manage to include a letter to the editor from one of our staff members, Craig Dorsett, which raised a separate issue with Luke and Ben's appointmentsthe lack of meritocracy. In many cases, their appointees are extremely under-qualified and lack experience. Chris Pizzo (Chief of Staff), Doug Bush (Executive Director of Social and Cultural Issues), David DeBarros (Executive Director of University Issues), Wesley Sheldon (Executive Director of Finance), and Kent Harrington (Assistant Director of Student Life) have little to no previous UGBC experience. Other more qualified applicants were passed over to make these appointments; for example, Frank Deluccia, the current Executive Director of Finance was told he would not be able to keep his position, despite being the only person with enough knowledge to run the department. It had taken him three years to master UGBC finances; it seems implausible that Wesley Sheldon will be able to fulfill his responsibilities, unless Frank is willing to train him. In another unbelievable decision, Luke and Ben decided to appoint David DeBarros over Stephanie Locatelli, now next year's Assistant Director of University Issues and someone who has spent two years in the department. To make matters worse, Kent Harrington is one of Ben's high school friends, and David DeBarros is one of his roommates. While we are sure this group of friends will have plenty of fun, we just hope it doesn't come at the expense of the student body.
Our final thoughts: liberals on this campus must be wary of the changes that are taking place. Progressives must be ready to fight against any establishment that aims to distort the Jesuit mission of social justice through conservative rhetoric that breeds intolerance. Clearly partisan politics and favoritism mean more than experience, dedication and competence. To all those overqualified applicants whom Luke and Ben snubbed, we urge you not be to be complacent next year but to do everything in your power to make BC a better place. If that means challenging UGBC, so be it.
Luke and Ben ran on the slogan "Putting Students First," apparently they did not mean all students.
Front Page (April 29, 2005)
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