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Opinion: A.S. resignations were a self-serving surrender

by Talia Raoufpur, Senior Staff Columnist

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Twelve Associated Students representatives resigned last week after a resolution to remove the Aztec moniker and Aztec Warrior mascot failed to pass the A.S. University Council, completely discrediting themselves as leaders.

These resignations only further divide the student body. Politics should not be related to self, but self-sacrifice. These individuals were elected to serve until the end of the school year.

Leadership requires standing up for what is right while accepting opposite viewpoints. This is part of the democratic process.

According to the A.S. website, members of A.S. serve as student body representatives with the responsibility to “support the mission of San Diego State University (and) to create, promote and fund social, recreational, cultural, and educational programs and facilities both on campus and in the community, advocate for student interests, provide leadership opportunities and participate in shared governance.”

This resolution successfully revealed SDSU’s racist history. There are students who feel their cultural backgrounds are being degraded because of the university’s mascot character, architectural style and branding.

The A.S. Executive board unanimously voted against the resolution.

Student Diversity Commission Chair Rachel Muntz criticized Executive Vice President Patty Masengale’s decision to speak with student athletes about the resolution in an article in The Daily Aztec on April 26. Why should Masengale be criticized? The changing of the mascot affects all SDSU students past or present, including those who represent the figure on the fields and courts.

The Aztec mascot is not just an issue of racial injustice. It has monetary implications that would require an increase in spending on behalf of the university, including the students.

Former A.S. Presidential candidate and recent A.S. Board of Directors student-at-large representative Chloe Sension told The Daily Aztec that her resignation stemmed from her belief that A.S. does not uphold its value of diversity.

Members like Sension are held to a high standard and should not quit because their efforts do not lead to their desired results.

Diversity includes variations of ideas, no matter how liberal or conservative. Each voice is to be given the opportunity to be heard before a decision is made. The student government is not obligated to cater to every single individual’s needs.

These leaders hold positions of privilege. They are part of the select few who have been awarded the power to make decisions on behalf of the students.

Their resignations are not commendable, but dangerous to the student groups they stand behind. If Judicial Affairs Council justice member Farris Nabulsi truly intended to advocate for students of color, he should have kept his position, no matter how many weeks remained in the semester. Students of color will continue to face hardships and the representatives that strive to protect them should keep fighting, rather than resign because of one lost battle.

These former A.S. members may believe that stepping down from their positions is heroic, but it is not. In their minds, the resignations benefitted students. However, students who feel disenfranchised deserve to be represented by leaders who will not stop fighting for their principles — even with bruised egos.

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4 Comments

4 Responses to “Opinion: A.S. resignations were a self-serving surrender”

  1. Rachel on May 3rd, 2017 3:56 pm

    AHEM.

    I criticized Patty because she spoke to athletes and NOT to NASA, or to anyone else in favor of the resolution, which is what I said when I was speaking to the reporter, but that part of the quote wasn’t included. Her job was also to honor and respect her commission, as SDC falls under the purview of the EVP, and she failed to do that. Her job isn’t to do what athletes want, and to cite them and no one else is a ridiculous sort of evidence. But regardless of that how little factual knowledge about the situation that you actually have, you didn’t sit through our experiences, you have no valid basis in your opinion other than, “They gave up.” You didn’t actually see what we were doing all year, you didn’t see the kind of nonsense we had to deal with this year, or what was being done to silence students in years prior. Resignation is a valid form of protest and it signals that the system has broken down and is no longer functioning the way it should. You know what happened after we resigned? People asked why, and asked what could be done to make sure that the issues over which we resigned, weren’t continuously perpetuated. So sit down.

    [Reply]

    Frank Davis Reply:

    Thank you for validating her opinion that you snowflakes denigrate anyone who has a different opinion. No valid basis for an opinion? Sit down? You are a quitter who thinks someone has a right to an opinion only if it matches yours.

    [Reply]

  2. Chinga Lasuya on May 3rd, 2017 7:57 pm

    Rather of focusing on your opinion, maybe you should do real journalism instead. This is trashy, self-serving, and is one-sided. If I wanted to be entertained by ranting, I would grab a Koala.

    [Reply]

  3. Ted on June 22nd, 2017 4:47 am

    False claims of the Aztec warrior being cultural misappropriation were unsubstantiated. This platform was unsupported by Native Americans who had a legitimate claim of Aztec ancestry. Instead, those with varying cultural identities used this to lash out at the University. If anything, historically those pretending to be outraged were hypocrites in that the Spanish and various other cultures oppressed the ancient Aztecs.

    [Reply]

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