We are strong believers in the power of the press to keep institutions honest and the populace informed. However, it is apparent to us that Pipe Dream’s Executive Board erred in its reasoning for endorsing Mr. Wuest. While projecting impartiality, the board makes flawed arguments against Mr. McClure and plays up his opponent’s virtues.
The Wuest endorsement is quite fascinating because, though “it was a difficult decision” for the Board, the arguments are lopsidedly in Mr. Wuest’s favor. The weak claim that Mr. McClure’s platform was “unrealistic” is premised on the wrongheaded assumption that the SA can not influence the administration to improve student services. To the Executive Board, the SA can only have an impact on the things within its direct purview and Mr. McClure cannot possibly wield his influence as an elected representative of students to effect change. This “can’t-do” attitude betrays an appallingly narrow view of SA influence that undervalues student representation and runs counter to SA history.
In the Board’s telling, Mr. Wuest’s platform is at once poorly defined, more realistic, and creative – an apparently winning combination. He is creative for seeking to “tap” an existing service, to do what it already does, we assume, at a larger scale. This is very nice and important, but not “creative”. His lack of a well-defined platform is akin to a poorly written resume, which would signal to any discerning employer that he lacks attention to detail. On the other hand, by omission, the Board portrays Mr. McClure as a clueless upstart whose only redeeming virtue is that he’s a skilled platform writer. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
The Executive Board is opting for the candidate with a more vague, but more “realistic”, agenda and apparently less management experience. The Board failed to note that, as Vice President for Multicultural Affairs and a member of the SA Executive Board, Mr. McClure has closely worked with administration officials and already has the relationships necessary to communicate student needs to the administration. Instead, the Pipe Dream chose to highlight Mr. Wuest’s singular collegiate experience on a committee where he helped produce, by his own admission, a single piece of legislation. A McClure presidency would bring experience and continuity, vital signs of organizational health that help the Association to project stability to the Administration in negotiations.
Additionally, the Board failed to explain how it is that Mr. Wuest acquired said experience. Though his platform mentions admirable participation on various committees and civic engagement in high school, it is glaringly thin on management experience. This is understandable given that he is a sophomore and was not endorsed in December for the VPAA opening due to his lack of experience. He clearly has a bright future ahead of him in politics, but as the Board itself determined a few months ago, he just isn’t ready for prime-time just yet.
The board’s explanation of why Mr. Wuest is qualified to run a multi-million dollar non-profit organization is as vague as Mr. Wuest’s platform plan. As proud Binghamton alumni, and former SA Executive Board members, we’re proud to see student leaders stepping up to the plate to run the SA. However, all campaigns should be given a fair shake by Pipe Dream, as it is often students’ only source of information about the candidates. By not doing so the paper risks undermining the strength of the Student Association.
With all due respect, this Board’s got some “splainin’ to do”.
Daniel Adeyanju, Vice President for Multicultural Affairs ’12-’13
Nayemai-Isis McIntosh, Vice President for Multicultural Affairs ’13-’15