Politics and student fees

An attempt to apply for the SSFC based on ideology was a mistake.

by The Editorial Board

Last week, Vice Provost for Student Affairs Jerry Rinehart revealed that an adviser for Collegians for a Constructive Tomorrow, Bill Gilles, encouraged members of the College Republicans to apply for the Student Services Fees Committee dishonestly. Gilles advocated gaming the system with the clear intent to get more conservatives on the Fees Committee to balance out its supposed âÄúliberal bias.âÄù
Rinehart was right to call GillesâÄô tactics âÄúirresponsible, without integrity and unethical.âÄù But besides being all those things, his tactics were wrongheaded: If he perceived a bias, which he only did by stretching the definition of a âÄúliberalâÄù group to the extreme, Gilles should have sought to eliminate that bias, not swing it to the other direction.
A committee evenly split between conservative ideologues and liberal ideologues would not be without bias; It would be full of biases, pulling in different directions. It would not be impartial; it would be an intense competition of partialities.
At a time when Rinehart and the fees committee are attempting to reform parts of the incredibly complex student fees process, ideology belongs on the Committee less than ever. We have seen some serious concerns brought up about the fees process and some student groups that receive those fees, but none of those issues are ideological in nature.
The Student Services Fees Committee should consist of responsible, honest and practical individuals who will do a fair job of distributing student money effectively âÄî in a fundamentally nonideological way.