Staff Editorial: Retroactive un-endorsing

The staff of The Poly has made every attempt to remain unbiased and report vanilla news throughout the recent scandal. Before the incident, however, we released positive, editorial pieces on the officials involved—our endorsements of Charles Carletta ’14, Gretchen Sileo ’14, and Frank Abissi ’15 for their respective positions. After reviewing and discussing the situation, the Editorial Board decided to reconsider our endorsement motions, and in doing so, we have voted to retroactively not endorse any candidate, GM or PU during the 2013 elections and endorse no PU during the 2014 elections. With this decision, the previously printed endorsements have been declared void and effectively nullified.

We are upset and frustrated that an action like this had to be considered; however, the Editorial Board cannot condone and must distance itself from the actions taken by the involved individuals, which include Abissi, Carletta, and Sileo, amongst others. In our view, it is not acceptable for anyone—especially a student leader—to attempt to suppress free speech, particularly if that speech is against what you believe in, and even more so if you have been voted into a position that is supposed to support the aforementioned opinions. These actions have greatly hurt Student Government’s reputation, even though the incident was a localized event committed by a small few.

This is, of course, because those involved were among the highest elected students, past and present. These students must be held to an even higher standard in understanding and upholding student policies. The Grand Marshal and the President of the Union are supposed to be the voice of the students and be there to support and promote that voice from either side. The acts committed by these individuals instead proved to be dishonorable and disrespectful to the student body as a whole.

In the past, there have been numerous GMs and PUs who have served the Rensselaer community with dignity and distinction and truly served the students’ desires.As a staff, we are frustrated that we have to write this editorial. Following GM Week, this should be a cheerful time; we’d much rather be congratulating Kyle Keraga ’15 and Erin Amarello ’15 on their victories. Instead, we are simply hoping that pair can renew students’ trust in Student Government as a whole.