Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 5
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

This week in ASWC

This week in ASWC Finance Chair Ajay Abraham and his finance committee released the preliminary budget for the 2007-’08 year. The Whitman College Pioneer had its budget both increased and decreased at the same time, despite steadily rising costs in production, as the policy committee amends the by-laws to ensure that the Pioneer receives eight percent of the total ASWC budget per year.

The joint session held on Sunday was especially eventful. A number of by-law changes were passed. These changes split the job of communications director into two positions, creating a secretary to handle the business of minute keeping and club paperwork, among other things. However, the position of Communications Director raises some distinct problems.

One of the specified jobs of the new Communications Director will be to submit a weekly column in the Pioneer as well as produce a regular radio show or podcast on the business of ASWC. I understand the goal of this Executive Council has been to increase the transparency of ASWC, but this is too far.

Press releases are useful, but when an organization attempts to fully control their message by publishing their “official message” as news written by someone within the organization, this breeds mistrust and undermines the credibility of the publication accepting and publishing those articles. It is my hope that an independent reporter will continue to cover ASWC and that the Whitman Pioneer will not accept “news” that can’t possibly even make a pretense of objectivity. It is also my hope that ASWC will eliminate this requirement.

Last but by no means least, Senator Shea Dunda is under investigation for impeachment. The Oversight Committee informed the joint session yesterday and passed out a petition that required the signature of at least one fifth of the Senate to start proceedings. Among the signers of this petition were Senior Senators Thomas Miller and Jay Heath and Junior Senators Gabrielle Arrowood and Maile Zeng.

The charges brought against Senator Dunda by the Oversight Committee include poor attendance at both Senate and Programming Committee meetings, despite the fact that in their report they admit to not keeping attendance records. They also charge Dunda with being derelict in his duties in areas like organizing and attending Senate forums.

A notable abstention from the petition for impeachment was Sophomore Senator Bryce McKay who refused to sign on the grounds that Oversight cannot penalize a Senator for actions that they have no official record of. This reporter agrees with Senator McKay. Not only is this committee standing on dubious judicial ground but they are also going to waste an incredible amount of time impeaching a Senior who is three weeks from graduation.

If Senator Dunda’s conduct was so abhorrent to this committee, why did it take them so long to act?

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