Peace, before we all fall to pieces

Let me start by briefly explaining how we arrived at last week’s Consensus editorial. The members of the editorial board and other Technique staff members sat down and had a freewheeling discussion of all of the issues at play in this election. Several editors, including myself, supported the Bandes-Ploder ticket. The candidates’ experience was brought up frequently. I myself expressed my opinion that the Bandes-Ploder ticket had the best experience for negotiating with administrators and the state government—I found Yvonne Ploder’s experience working in the office of a U.S. senator to be particularly impressive. During our discussion we brought up many of the major issues facing students including mental health, dining and the Student Center.

In the end, most of the staff ended up supporting the Roseen-Banner ticket. Those of us who still gave the edge to Bandes-Ploder recognized this and believed that Roseen and Banner would also do well in the positions. Our lengthy discussion was shortened to a few key points that we thought best highlighted our decision, and the article was printed.

I was saddened to read the letter-to-the-editor written by Alex Bandes this week. It was certainly not my intention, nor I am sure the intention of any editor, to insult or personally attack any candidate, so I am sorry if that is how it was interpreted. In our Consensus, we expressed our difference of opinion on the way sexual assault should be handled but did not intend to impugn on the motives of Bandes or Ploder. The word “insensitive” appears not a single time in the editorial.

Elections come and go, but the larger issue that this episode has brought up is the relationship between SGA and the Technique. Quite a few people in both organizations seem to delight in the politics of the struggle between us. What likely started as the inevitable friction between two influential organizations has transformed into a kind of swirling meta-narrative where we must be perpetually at war—like the modern-day versions of the Hatfields and McCoys.

I for one have had enough of this. To misquote Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

Ink and pixels have been shed on both sides, but this feud has done great damage to both organizations and to the student body and needs to stop. Surely our time can be better spent than with bickering, for instance by advocating for Tech students and serving their interests.

What should unite us is so much more important than what seems to divide us. Both SGA and the Technique are organizations filled with bright, involved students whose primary motivation is to serve the undergraduate and graduate student body. The Technique does this by covering important events and issues on campus and SGA does this by allocating student funds and advocating for students to the Institute and to state leaders.

One of the candidates brought up improving the dialogue between SGA and students by sitting down over coffee. In that spirit, I’m issuing an open invitation for any of the six excellent candidates or any other current or former member of SGA to meet me for coffee. Seriously, my email is [email protected]. As a gesture of goodwill, I’ll even pick up the tab. Let’s sit down and talk about what our organizations can do together to help students.