Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Looking at President Prince's campaign promises

Wednesday, April 6, 2009, is the final meeting of Concord's Student Government Association for the 2008-2009 academic year. It's been a year of highs and lows for the SGA. They've accomplished a lot of good things, but they've also been mired in a few controversies. SGA President Wes Prince was investigated for impeachment twice - an unprecedented "achievement." After this week's meeting, the SGA will be in the hands of recently-elected Jeff Yeager. But, before we hand off the SGA to next year's leader, I want to take a (hopefully) final look at this year's leader.

Last year's elections for SGA positions was a very interesting time. We had a three-way race for President between ousted 2006-2007 SGA President Rocky Seay, Will Hicks, and Wes Prince. I have my own theory on why Wes won. It's three-fold:

1) Wes' brother, Travis, used a lot of his political capital. Travis was highly respected as student representative to Concord University's Board of Governors. When he said something, people listened. He told people to vote for Wes. I'm not going to get into that debacle where he went berserk and acted like an idiot at the debate.

2) Rocky Seay's past & Will Hick's lack of one. Rocky had a lot of good platforms he was running on. He wanted to tailgate at every football game. He was going to donate his first paycheck to the American Cancer Society. He wanted better checks & balances in the SGA. But, he had one huge mark against him - he had been kicked out of school - and the SGA Presidency - in September 2007, for academic dishonesty. A lot of details were left out and some were distorted along the campaign trail, and it make Rocky look bad. Will Hicks just didn't have enough of a past in the SGA to be taken seriously for the position of SGA President.

3) Campaign promises. Wes spoke with student groups and created a list of 30 initiatives he would work towards if elected SGA President. Most of these didn't have much explanation, but Wes trumpeted the list at every turn.

Number 3 is what we're going to look at in this blog - Wes' list of 30 initiatives. I have a copy of the list and am going to see if Wes accomplished what he set out to do, or if he failed. Before we go any further, I will point out that there are some of these that I'm not sure of. If you know how well he did on something, or if I'm not giving him enough credit for something, let me know.

The following is from Wes' Facebook group he created during last year's elections, "Prince for President." -

The Fight for Student Respect and Responsibility on this Campus begins Now!!!!

MY PLATFORM:

My platform was overwhelming written by the students not solely by myself with my own interest in mind:

0. Obtain a 0% tuition increase
1. Fixing Carter Center
2. Wider Varitey in TV Channels
3. Longer Hours in the Cafeteria, or more food options.
4. Make SGA more open for Students
5. Fixing the campus roads, including potholes.
6. Fixing the Fine Arts building and their lead based paint holding up asbestos.
7. Installing Pencil sharpeners in the Fine Arts Building.
8. Easier access to Fine Arts Building, like early in the morning or late at night.
9. Attempt to allow Mu Xi Phi fraternity to compete in Greek Week.
10. Carter Center Open all access (24/7)
11. Make it easier to get off campus.
12. Nickolodeon and Indoor Track.
13. Better Intramurals
14. Easier on International Students
15. Fix water heater on 7th 8th and 10th floor of North Tower.
16. Keep students here on the weekends
17. Have a shuttle bus from Concord to Resort during parties.
18. Better equipment for Art and Music students.
19. Keep Grilleworks and SOuth of Sicily open later.
20. Fix the English major program.
21. Try ot get the programs and the teachers to be more cooperative with the students.
22. No application program for the education department.
23. Update the cable and internet.
24. Better cafe. food.
25. An updated version of the visitation policy that better fits todays students.
26. Better accomodations in dorms (update and renovate).
27. A complete review of the Judicial Branch.
28. More oversight of Concord University Police Department.
29. More comfortable chairs in classrooms.

I developed 6 of these initiatives, the rest were developed by fraternities and sororities. Thanks for the ideas. I am going to do my best to get all of these accomplished.

So, there's that. What I'm going to do is start my own numeric list and look at how well Wes did at each point. Refer back to his list at times. My "0" will address his "0;" my "1," his "1;" etc...

0. That didn't happen. There was no way a zero percent tuition increase could have happened. The SGA fought hard for tuition to not be increased, but trying for a zero increase would have been dumb. I'm glad those around Wes realized that and were more realistic.

1. I don't know what needed to be fixed. To the best of my knowledge, nothing was.

2. In the fall, Concord did get a wider variety in TV channels. We went from something like 30 channels to nearly 80. I think this was a victory for Housing, and not Wes, as it appears the wheels for this were set in motion long before he came into office.

3. The cafeteria closes at 6:15 now, which is 15 minutes later. Although, I remember when the cafeteria used to close at 6:30. More food options? Several different kinds of rice doesn't cut it.

4. They tried hard to do this one, but it didn't work. An "open house" event was planned for the SGA, but that wound up being scheduled the same week as one of Wes' impeachment hearings, so it got canceled.

5. Wes promised to get the roads fixed. At the debate, he said he'd go out there and fix them himself if he had to. Neither he nor anybody fixed the roads on campus.

6. Haven't heard anything about this one. If he had fixed it, I'm sure he would have said something.

7. There are pencil sharpeners in the Fine Arts building. Not in every room. I don't think any were added, but I don't think we need anymore.

8. He didn't do anything with this. People who need to get into the Fine Arts Building have a key code they can punch in. I've had the code for going on five years now. I'll admit - I've used it a handful of times this year even though I no longer need it. It's a quiet area to study.

9. This was stupid to even put on the list. Unless major rules are changed, Mu Xi Phi will not be allowed to compete in Greek Week. They're a local fraternity. Only national fraternities can compete. I don't think those rules can change.

10. That didn't happen. If he had tried, I think he would have said something about it.

11. I don't know what that means. There was some advertisements up for the bus that comes to campus to take people into Princeton. There was also a campus-wide trip into Virginia that was sometime last month. But, I think all of those were done by the Student Center, and not sponsored by the SGA.

12. That's a weird request. The answer to both is no.

13. This is one that was accomplished ... but not by Wes. This was a result of new Intramural Director Bill Fraley. He put all the work into that, not Wes.

14. Easier on International Students? What the hell does that mean?

15. I haven't heard anything else about those, so I'm guessing they're fixed. If they're not, somebody let me know.

16. The Student Activities Committee tried to do this. It didn't work.

17. I don't know if they got a shuttle bus to take students to "The Resort," a club near campus. I'm guessing that if there was one it would have been publicized. I never saw or heard anything about this, so I'm guessing it didn't happen. I don't know - I've never been to "The Resort." It's a shame if it didn't happen, that was one of Wes' biggest points he talked a lot about.

18. I don't think Wes did anything with this one either. I don't think the Art or Music students got any new supplies this year. Again, if I'm wrong, somebody correct me. I'm not sure about this one.

19. I think Grilleworks is open later. I don't think South of Sicily is open later. I'll give him half credit for this one.

20. I don't know what was wrong with the English major program. Since I haven't heard of any changes to the major, I'm going to assume he did nothing with it.

21. I don't know what that means. Somebody elaborate on 21 for me.

22. I haven't hear anything about that. Is there still an application process to get into the education department?

23. I've explained the cable situation already. The Internet doesn't seem to be running any faster. I think I'd hear more about that if it had been done.

24. There's a different variety. I don't know if it's "better." I'll give him credit for that, since "better" is subjective.

25. This one has happened, almost. The Housing committee created a new visitation policy. That policy was modified by the Concord University Student Affairs committee. The SGA endorsed it. It's there, waiting to be signed off on.

26. This hasn't happened.

27. This one did happen. Although, it was in the works before Wes was elected. I'll still give him credit for being SGA President while President-elect Jeff Yeager oversaw the review.

28. I don't think the SGA's attempt to "police the police department" was successful. That's what that initiative sounds like to me. I hope that's not what he wanted to do.

29. I think the chairs are okay. The SGA hasn't done anything about the chairs ... in the classrooms. They did buy some for their office recently.

So, there's my take on the fabled list of initiatives. Maybe President-elect Yeager can expand on this list next year ... or throw it away and create a more competent and less ridiculous list.

If you have any thoughts on this, let me know. If I've given too much credit somewhere, not enough, or am just flat-out wrong, let me know. Opinions, comments, anything is welcome. Since this is a new platform we have going, let's try to keep things uniform. I import these blogs into Facebook and probably get most of my readers that way. With importing to Facebook, you can also leave comments on Facebook's version of the blog. So, let's try it out & see how it works - if there are any comments, try to leave them on this page and not Facebook. That way they're all in the same spot. You don't have to create a profile or anything to leave comments. All you have to do is write your name into a window. You can even leave anonymous comments. I'll allow anonymous comments, as long as they're constructive and relevant.

I'll leave my famous warning here: I import these blogs into Facebook. One of Facebook's options is the ability to tag people in these notes, sending them an e-mail alert. I tag people for two reasons - if I mention you by name I try to tag you and also if I think you will find this interesting. If you don't want to be tagged, let me know & I won't do it in the future. If I don't tag you & you'd like to be, let me know.

8 comments:

  1. As I mentioned in my previous blog, I had to start over with a new Facebook account. With tagging people in Facebook notes, you can only tag people you're "friends" with ... and I noticed that Wes had not yet accepted the friend request I sent him.

    So ... if somebody could do me a big favor and tell him about this blog, that would be cool. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sounds like you are just haggling him now. Let it go Chris. Worry more about what you can fix and less about what you can't

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  3. well that was a great year n review. i do have an answer for 12 we do have nick but no indoor track so 1/2 credit. oh and the problem with the English department is they have insane high standers. there is no state standard for the department so concord can make it as hard as they want to get in and graduate.

    ReplyDelete
  4. "Anonymous said...

    Sounds like you are just haggling him now. Let it go Chris. Worry more about what you can fix and less about what you can't"

    I don't think I'm haggling Wes. This is simply a year-in-review. Last year, Wes said he was going to do these things. I checked the list to see what he did.

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  5. For people who can't see the Facebook version of this blog, SGA Advisor Marshall Campbell left the following comment:

    ~~~

    Marshall Campbell at 7:53am May 6

    Hey, Chris -- I'll weigh-in on some things here. #1 -- Carter -- Well, the SGA helped buy a new set of free weights and there was some painting done in the weight room due, in part, to the SGA requests to Dr. A prior to and around the time that he came here. Other things that have happened in Carter (refinishing the floors, repairing ceiling tiles, etc.) have been done due to the efforts of Greg Quick and others of us in Athletics and Student Affairs with the help of Maintenance.

    #5 -- Wes wrote to Dr. Beasley and others about the pot holes in the road behind the Towers. They were repaired, but the winter weather and the plowing have caused them to need to be repaired again.

    #11 -- There were trips to Blacksburg, Charleston and Roanoke in Feb., March and April, respectively, sponsored by SAC and assisted by the RDs in Housing. ... Read More

    #13 -- Thanks for the recognition of the efforts of Bill Fraley.

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  6. For people who can't see the Facebook version of this blog, Intramural Director Bill Fraley, who I mention in my point #13, left the following comment:

    ~~~

    Bill Fraley at 8:09am May 6

    Chris, I'd like to say thanks for the props on Intramurals, but if you really want to give someone credit it's the workers I had.

    In the Fall it was Rusty Coeburn and Will Stella, and in the Spring it was Rusty and Mike Anderson. These guys put in alot of evening hours that I didn't. I may have done most of the planning, but I have say without a doubt that these guys are what made it happen. Without them I don't think it would've run so smoothly.

    In addition the Game Room workers, especially Eric Cox, put in alot of work organizing the tournaments each month in the Game Room that were sponsored by various people on campus (Intramurals, Aramark, SAC, Housing, the Bookstore, and Admissions).... Read More

    I do believe that Intramurals improved, and it's nice to hear that others feel that way too. I just wanted to make sure that all the others who contributed valuable time or money got their props too.

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  7. Very few people like Wes Prince as president. He did a horrible job! This is still Haggling him... It does nothing but ruins TKE's name even more than previous year.

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  8. Anyonymous,

    I don't look at the organization Tau Kappa Epsilon any differently just because Wes was a member during his Presidency.

    ReplyDelete