United Council: The Rationale of YesPosted: March 28, 2011
Nearly all of you are aware that it is ASM’s election season once again (go VOTE if you haven’t, preferably for me 🙂 ), and again most of you know that United Council membership is again on the ballot. You may be receiving lots of invitations to vote one way or another and whichever way you vote is truly fine, as long as it is an informed vote.
Today, a large ad crying Vote NO! and an accompanying piece from the Editorial Board appeared in the Badger Herald. While not denying that these groups have a right to express their thoughts, I wish it was at least accurate and informed.
The Ed Board piece comes from a group that only knows of United Council through press releases and having UC’s governmental relations guy, Michael, tell them what the story is at the capital. While I commend them for trying to act in the best interest of campus, there are many factual errors in the piece.
There are two main errors within the main argument
- Technical colleges ARE NOT a part of United Council. If anything we spend a lot of time thwarting them because our UW College system directly competes for talent, resources, and their very livelihoods
- Failed to mobilize students: This is a half truth. In general the campaigns are not mass movement in nature. It’s more like Policy Wonk A from Madison meets Policy Wonk B from Stevens Point and they team with Policy Wonk C from Milwaukee in implementing a program that Policy Wonk D started at Parkside. That being said, United Council did take part in the protests against the Budget Repair Bill (specifically for our Teaching Assistants and Faculty) by funding buses and organizing students from around the state to come on down.
Folks, United Council is far from perfect. We have infighting, personal issues, procedural snafus and overall legitimacy crisis; so basically, it’s the same as every student government that has ever existed. With Madison likely to begin operating under a new administrative model after July 1, we need statewide support to continue. We cannot think that issues that will affect UW System will not affect us. Cuts to Education are top down, indiscriminate of models of administration. Additionally, United Council maintains the largest archive of Shared Governance information in the state. This archive has stuff from every school going back decades. It’s absolutely essential this is preserved going into the brave new waters of public authority status where we will need to fight to keep Shared Governance as we know it.
Vote Yes. A vote no is taking your ball and going home because the other kids playing ball are being mean to you. Let’s grow up a bit. You can’t reform a system from the outside; you need to be at the table. Let’s stay at the table and keep ourselves open to our Badgers across the state.
Disclaimer: I am a current Board member of United Council and am a candidate for President at the upcoming convention. Take anything from those statements that you wish.