Volume 95, Issue 39

Friday, November 9, 2001
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Accepting the consequences

Editorial Cartoon

Editorial Board 2001-2002

Accepting the consequences

As former American president Richard Nixon realized during his term in power, mistakes are understandable, but trying to hide those mistakes from the public is unforgivable.

Controversy continues to swirl around the Social Science Students' Council after the discovery of approximately $7,400 in unpaid bills related to unauthorized Orientation week activities.

The head soph, who oversaw these Orientation activities, is on the other side of the country and the SSSC is scrambling to find the required money and solve the resulting problems.

Wednesday night, the SSSC met for their regular meeting. But, before discussing the $7,400 in debts, the council moved into confidential session – meaning all discussions were private and not to be repeated to anyone outside council.

One individual present at that meeting, upset with council's attempt to cover-up their problems, spoke with The Gazette and explained all that was discussed during the confidential session.

Thursday, in a stern memo to all members of the SSSC, president Duane Baxter reminded council members of their confidential requirements and asked that the individual who spoke to The Gazette step forward.

Specifically, Baxter asked that the individual "reveal their identity and accept the consequences of their action."

In this case, Baxter should follow his own demands.

Last spring, it was Baxter, as part of a soph selection committee, who chose Sarah Brock as head soph.

This summer, University Students' Council VP-finance Rob Irvine warned Baxter of potential problems with the social science Orientation week budget.

And now, as details of overspending become clear, it was Baxter's SSSC who attempted to hide the truth from students by moving into confidential session.

Misuse of student funds is inexcusable, but such mistakes should be readily admitted and fully explained to the student body.

Consider last year's infamous Operation Massive debacle. After approximately $30,000 of student money was wasted on a failed dance party, USC VP-student affairs Chris Sinal, the event's organizer, was open and honest about his mistakes.

When it came time to explain the event to council, all discussion was done in public and all figures disclosed.

Now, as Baxter hunts for the individual who sought public disclosure, it is time for Baxter to be held accountable for both the misuse of money and the attempt to cover-up such mistakes.

He has betrayed the student body's trust and must pay the ultimate price.

Baxter must resign immediately from his position as SSSC president.

Student's money has been wasted and, for trying to cover-up such waste, Duane Baxter has proven himself unworthy of his position and a failure as a student representative.

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Copyright The Gazette 2001