Set the record straight

By David Eisenberg

As a member of the Student Election Commission, I would like to set the record straight regarding the Chief referendum, the rulings that have been made and the other forms of recourse students have available to them. First, I would like to make it clear that the rulings of both the SEC and its appellate review court had absolutely nothing to do with the Chief. The issue that was presented was merely procedural. The SEC had the option to grant an extension to Students for Chief Illiniwek, but declined to so in order to maintain our independence and impartiality. If the SEC were to react to the decision by the Board of Trustees we would not only be reacting to a political event, but we would also lose our autonomy and credibility. There were both pro-Chief and anti-Chief people making these decisions, but that was not the issue. Everyone was forced to step back, as I hope many of you will too, and understand that the SEC could not and should not bring its impartiality into doubt.

While there will not be a referendum regarding the Chief on the ballot, I would like to encourage students to take other steps to ensure that your voices are heard. For example, VOTE. There is no better way, in a representative form of government, to express oneself than to elect someone who will speak for you. That is exactly what the Student Trustee is for. He or she is the voice of the student body on the Board. Another option students have is to continue protesting. Keep doing what you are doing.

Therefore, I hope students understand that the issue the SEC was faced with was not about the Chief. This was not a conspiracy between Chairman Eppley and the SEC (he could have announced his decision after the referendum deadline). And finally, we have not stifled or even hampered the student body¡s voice. You have alternative forms of recourse if you choose to seize them. So whether you are pro-Chief, anti-Chief or totally ambivalent, go out today and tomorrow and vote; express yourselves.

David Eisenberg

graduate student

Student Election Commission

former chairman and member