As The World Burns: The DASB Drama Pt. 1 – 5/10/2010

It’s election season. Unfortunately, I will not be giving my expertise on the 2010 California election, but instead the upcoming De Anza Associated Student Body election.

It’s hard to be oblivious about the election, since candidates have littered the campus with posters hoping get to everyone’s attention, only to attract a smaller minority than registered republicans at UC Berkeley.

The real fun will come during the grievance meetings, where candidates will put on a comedy show of petty feuds. Good luck sitting through it without giggling.

Why is this the status quo? One would assume a collection of colleagues who gather to serve the needs of the students could solve their disputes in a civilized manner. But if conflict did arise, it would all have ended by hugging it out, Ari Gold style.

The root of the problem is the conflict of egos. Unlike other colleges, where the student government is dominated by the free thinking versus preps of the bourgeoise, in the student senate it’s a battle between the activists versus the opportunists.

The activists are those who have worked with student organizations like Students for Justice or W.I.S.E. 37 – don’t take their dedication for granted. The opportunists, however, are a coalition of overachievers who want to add some extracurricular activity to their college resumes.

Just how bad is this conflict? Last quarter, the opportunists colluded to solidify their power with an attempted political coup. These senators used every dirty trick available to oust their opposition (like DASB President Marlo Custodio and Keith Hubbard, vice president of Campus Environment and Sustainability), with the exception of hiring a mercenary army to take the student Senate and placing in power a student junta.

So why all this drama over power in a student government? The issue is that the DASB has a one million dollar budget to determine what services receive funding. Yeah, you read right: a long time ago some genius thought it was a good idea to give a bunch of kids with big egos a million dollar budget.

The ramifications were visible last quarter when the DASB cut the funding of programs that underprivileged students depend on (like Child Development Center or LEAD) while it increased the funds to purchase movie tickets.

The only solutions to these issues are requiring senators to take POLI 1 (U.S. government) and a class on moral ethics.

When the smoke of the election has cleared, it will be another year of drama over a million dollar budget. In the end, just laugh at the show as you watch the world burn.

Published for La Voz Weekly
Original Link: As The World Burns: The DASB Drama Pt. 1


About Stan Rezaee
I'm a writer from San Jose who has contributed to several online and print publications.

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