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Maroon and Gold Association: a College Republicans stunt

In the last week, there has been much discussion about Tony Zammit’s new Maroon and Gold Association. Supposedly, the Maroon and Gold Association will be a watchdog group and a new avenue for helping the Minnesota Student Association be successful on campus. However, it appears the Maroon and Gold Association is nothing more than a College Republicans stunt, and one built on incompetence and inexperience.

First, I need to give a little background information on the College Republicans, who historically have never been very active in politics on campus. A couple of years ago, because of internal conflict, the University’s Republican group split in two; on-campus warriors joined the Campus Republicans, and the more apathetic members stayed with the College Republicans.

However, the existence of two Republican groups on campus is a continuing embarrassment to some members of the College Republicans; whether they actually admit it is not too important. One of the primary grievances Campus Republicans members had with the College Republicans was that they did not do anything on campus, focusing their political activities elsewhere. Thus, the true face of this issue comes to forefront: The College Republicans are looking for something to make it appear that they do things on campus.

This is fine – we should always encourage any group of students who want to be active on campus. Yet this Maroon and Gold Association is not some new and wonderful group of students that is going to light a fire under MSA. In fact, it is just the opposite.

Zammit and his crew appear wearing their incompetence on their sleeves. The Maroon and Gold Association’s contract with students is tautological with what MSA is already working on.

What about an on-campus stadium Zammit mentions? MSA voted on a resolution last year, and MSA President Eric Dyer has been consumed by it in his administration. I will tell you about these people who purport to know all about an on-campus stadium: They do not know a bloody thing. With all the stuff spewing out there about a potential stadium, I have not met a single person on this campus who knows beans about a stadium, how to build it or how to fund it. It would be nice to stop wasting Daily column space until someone with some facts comes forward.

In talking with members of the Maroon and Gold Association, I have found they far and large are suffering from ignorance and, frankly, a little arrogance. They assume the items they want addressed have not been addressed. They also presume these things can be done overnight; they cannot.

MSA does not have the power to force school administrators to change the fees process; MSA does not have the power to prevent greek houses from being historically designated. Zammit and his pals are suffering from what most members of our generation suffer from – a need for instant gratification. Rome was not built in a day, and neither will a stadium be.

Among Zammit’s complaints about the inactivity of MSA, I should note that Zammit is in fact a member of the MSA Forum, and as such he should know the Forum is the engine that runs MSA. If Zammit is so interested in getting things done, he should be the most active member of the Forum. He should be producing resolutions and position statements and then getting them to pass. He then should be assisting the MSA executive board in finding out where we need to go and with whom we need to talk to have a positive impact on campus. This has not happened. Zammit has not written one piece of legislation.

The Maroon and Gold Association is not a nonpartisan student action group. It is a bunch of College Republicans trying to get free press.

I could be wrong. There is a chance Zammit is not an attention hog. Maybe this will work. Let the prima donna try to better this campus for students. Arrogance seems the way for College Republicans; I expect nothing less from them. They can be the boot-licking establishment wannabes for a while. Me? I will stick to being the fair and impartial speaker of the MSA Forum.

Martin Andrade is the speaker of the MSA Forum. He welcomes comments at [email protected]

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