-by Harper Haught, Taylor Spencer, Anna Hornell, Lauren Wertheim and Summer Thompson
The opinion piece recently posted by the Optimist is slander. This institution should be reporting news, not drama. The statement “The main thing that sets Jones and Kelley apart is their unity as a team and their balance of fun and deep solutions for the problems on campus” is not true. I have attended every debate and have been informed on the entirety of their platform since the beginning. They started the week running on two things: club involvement and unity. They have since stolen points from the other candidates and adopted policy ideas such as forums and emphasis on sexual assault which have been key to the campaigns of Kennedy and Dayton specifically. If Kelley/Jones wishes to adopt what the opponents are running on, fine. But if you’re going to write and publish an article about the candidates, make sure you actually know what sets them apart.
The Kelley/Jones website homepage includes the slogan “Many reasons, one choice,” which also appears on the ACU homepage. This is plagiarism.
Kennedy has had the clearest goals of any candidate. She has done nothing but state explicit, realistic goals such as forums, budget cuts, etc. On Monday, the only thing Ty and Rachel were going off of was the vague idea of unity, with no specific goals or ideas addressed.
Jones comes out ahead on bills because she was a congress member this year. Her participation was not extraordinary when compared to other active members of congress. Dayton was not on SGA last year, which you pointed out, so there is no way to fairly compare her legislative resume when she was busy serving in other ways. What you failed to mention was her internship with Title IX and leadership positions in Ko Jo Kai and AEI and her internships for the United States Congress. I assert that Dayton is just as qualified as Jones in the area of managing congress. Years served and platform ideas do not directly translate into management qualifications.
Focusing on mental health is no small matter, and to diminish that as a less-than topic than dog parks and tailgates is a disservice and an insult to everyone that has struggled with mental illness. On average, 1 in 4 students suffer from a form of mental illness, so do not say that addressing this is not a practical way to represent a wide variety of students. That is a lie.
I understand the freedom to express one’s opinion, as I am doing right now, but I think that as an institution claiming to seek and share the truth, it is inappropriate to use your platform to bring people down.
*Editors Note: The definition of slander according to Webster’s Dictionary is “the utterance of false charges or misrepresentations which defame and damage another’s reputation.”