YOUR VIEWS: Letters to the Editor

In last week’s Technique, the editorial staff’s Consensus Opinion entitled “UHR ineffective” brought up some issues regarding how the UHR allocates the Student Activity Fee (SAF) fund. Unfortunately, it seems that their criticism finds no basis in fact, and shows an unfortunate lack of understanding of SGA policy and practice.

First, the Technique claims that it is not SGA’s job to decide if a club is good enough to exist, referring to the UHR’s decision to strike $1,262 in registration fees and travel. What the Technique fails to report is that the argument in the UHR was not that the Archery Club was “unproven,” but in fact, we strongly encouraged them to return in the spring to request the funding we struck. We normally don’t fund events over six weeks in the future in bills, and the Archery Club should be no exception.

There is an assumption within the editorial that the UHR should rubber stamp any allocation request that conforms to the Joint Finance Committee Policy. The fact of the matter is that the requests for funds are always far larger than our current account balance will allow.

We, the UHR must be judicious in how we allocate money. Fiscal responsibility dictates that we must apply a higher standard JFC Policy, which merely qualifies it for funding. Just because a bill conforms to JFC Policy does not guarantee passage, nor should it.

Second, the Technique claims that the allocation from the Undergraduate Legislative Reserve (ULR) for the Freshman Leadership Summit represented a hypocritical circumvention of JFC Policy which prohibits allocations for food and was “fast-tracked” through the ULR to avoid application of the JFC Policy, which constitutes a misapplication of ULR funds.

The truth of the matter is that the ULR is a small portion of money for special Legislative projects, not for “undergraduate issues.” Typically, this money is used to fund the activities of freShGA, pay for SGA promotional activities, etc. As the Freshman Leadership Summit is a special project specifically of the Freshman Class Reps, regardless of timing, it should have been a ULR allocation. Additionally, because it constitutes our legislative operating budget, it is not subject to any JFC Policy restrictions, despite the Technique’s insistence that the ULR is “not outside the rule of that law.”

Numerous other factual errors litter the editorial, including the erroneous claims that the GSS and JFC funded the Archery Club bill in full and that we do not follow our bylaws. I would recommend that any organization, most of all the Technique, that wishes to criticize another organization spend the time it takes to check the facts surrounding their criticism.

What the Technique also ignores in their editorial is the great success the UHR has had in improving our campus. Numerous financial and policy decisions that have directly impacted the lives of Tech students, and fostered a better sense of campus community.

The Technique’s claim that the UHR has been “bending the rules for themselves but ignoring student organizations,” simply shows a lack of understanding of the purpose of the UHR, and is both misinformed and unfitting of a publication such as theirs. I fully expect a long series of corrections in connection to the article “UHR ineffective” and expect an apology from the Technique editorial staff.

Parker Hancock

SGA Executive Vice President

I am writing you as a student who was once an avid fan of your newspaper, but who has become saddened with the vitriolic turn things have taken in the past few months. Your consensus opinion of Nov. 6th on the state of affairs of the Undergraduate House of Representatives was particularly disheartening.

Over the past few months, I have come to understand the workings of the undergraduate Student Government Association through my posting as the Academic Affairs Committee Chair. I regard my position as a way to help the student body through a niche role that has little to do with UHR as a whole, so while I have learned much about the activities of UHR, my stance on those activities is neutral and objective. In fact, I have actually disagreed with many decisions and tactics taken by both the SGA Executive Board and the UHR. Yet for all of that, I earnestly believe in the overall strategy and attitude that prevails in SGA, and I cannot begin to fathom how the Technique justified their rhetoric as anything other than pure demagoguery.

You had the opportunity to make a beautiful, legitimate argument centered around the low attendance of UHR two weeks ago and about the exact nature of UHR bylaws, which could and should have been raised with aplomb and dignity. Instead, you chose to formulate your arguments in a demonizing format which precludes any inkling of rationality or common sense.

To say for example that “These abuses seem to happen only for the sense of power rejecting a bill gives [the UHR].” is a generalization that is excessively noxious even in a consensus opinion of “The South’s Liveliest College Newspaper.” This sort of argument might appeal to the pathos of the reader and the egos of the Technique editorial board, but it has absolutely no bearing on the ethos of all involved. Moreover, as one who intends to work on the root of the problem by sending an objective citizen’s complaint to UHR regarding attendance, your irascible article has bred an attitude of “us against them” that lessens the chance that external petitions will rectify the situation.

Granted, I have been discussing only a single article, but I feel that it is a characteristic one among many that are designed with inflammatory style that is detrimental to what I imagine your true intent must be. It is to the point that my colleagues and I are beginning to wonder if maybe there is another entity that could be accused of “no longer even pretending to be our voice, but rather enjoying the position of power without responsibility.”

This could so easily be rectified. The Technique has a long and proud history of making a point with panache and verve, but also fairly and objectively. You have a sterling opportunity to further this legacy by forming your opinions with reason and concern, and I urge you to make the most of it. I look forward with hope to the day when the Technique is once again the highlight of my Friday.

Rob Parrish

Third-year ME

We’re glad to see that the Tech Trolley is expanding to cover the Midtown Publix. Currently, this will really help undergraduate students by providing them access to groceries any day of the week. As graduate students, we wouldlove the option to pick up lunch, snacks, or groceries while still on Tech campus. However, the current hours really aren’t conducive to graduate students, staff, or faculty. We understand the need to evaluate the safety of the stop this semester. After this initial trial period, we hope to see service expanded to all day next semester.

There are many benefits to having access to a grocery store any time of day. Some benefits include easy access to a wide range of over-the-counter medicines, toiletries, fresh fruits and vegetables, many meal options and reasonably priced snacks. If Parking & Transportation could devise a practical and safe stop during all Publix operation hours, this would greatly benefit all members of the Tech community not just a select group of students living on campus.

Irene Anestis-Richard and

Venmathy Rajarathinam

ChBE Grads

I was greatly disappointed by Georgia Tech’s handling of the distribution of the H1N1 vaccines. The first mention of the availability of the vaccines was less than 24 hours before they were to be administered to “CDC-identified target priority groups,” and less than two days before they were to be available to “all students, faculty, and staff 18 and over.”

The confusion caused by the lack of notice was compounded with the generally misleading nature of the email. Although the message did mention vaccines would be administered “priority groups” a day early, what it failed to mention was who fell into the group. By mentioning that the vaccines would be available to “students… 18 and over,” on the non-priority date, most people could reasonable assume that students 18 and over do not fall into the CDC target priority groups.

However, according to the CDC website, everyone from age 6 months to 24 years old are considered priority vaccine targets. Could it be that perhaps email’s otherwise informative content was intentionally obfuscated as part of a larger conspiracy of silent consent on behalf of the largely middle-aged, non-priority staff and faculty in order to guarantee a greater supply of vaccines for themselves?

The answer is obviously, “Yes, these corrupt vampires will stop at nothing to satiate their sadistic, macabre hunger for the suffering of swine flu stricken students. Every languishing student keeled over on a bathroom floor the night before a test elicits not sympathy from these once-human wraiths, but reaction of the physical variety: an excited, eager production of flesh-dissolving acid in their hellish maws in anticipation of a meal.

These beasts drink the watery stool of the infected, bathe in their expelled bile. And when every student has been exhausted, these daemons retreat to a place deep underground, untouched by light, praying to the gods of Pestilence for another good show next year.” I think I’m going to be sick.

Davis Farmer

Fourth-year CS