Political responsibility

By Bruce E. Clark

How should one run for public office? For those who have aspired to positions within student senate, I have been quite shocked and disappointed. There have been a few candidates who have resorted to the kind of destructive territorial branding that street gangs are typically known for: spray paint graffiti. Though I am a proponent of this medium of cultural expression in the right context, I feel it has been used in very poor taste for recent elections.

The inundation of graffiti all over the sidewalks, and some walls around campus proves to be a terrible choice. It is in direct violation of provision 103-2k of the Student Code which states that: “conduct for which students are subject to discipline includes, but is not limited to: theft of, defacement of, unauthorized use of, or damage to property or facilities where the University community’s interest is substantially affected.” Being new to this campus this year. I have been struck by the beauty of its quadrangle and surrounding buildings. The display of this type of vandalism substantially affects this beauty and gives the University a less than pristine image.

Why would I vote for a candidate to represent the interests of this institution and its student body when they choose to deface it in this way? It’s entirely unprofessional and irresponsible. I don’t see Obama or Clinton hiring a team of tag-artists to get the message out about their candidacy. They choose to engage in public meetings, send out fliers, create advertisements and generally give a presence to their ambitions. Graffiti is an after hours, in-the-dark-hoping-I-don’t-get-caught kind of ambition reserved for street thugs and the like, not for candidates aspiring to represent their local community.

Those who are responsible for the recent political vandalism (whether by commission or omission) should be held responsible to remove it and not waste the University’s time or resources in doing it for them.

Bruce E. Clark

graduate student