Ari Paul takes on student government politics and the Borders strike in his column today, titled “Hey, little rich boy.” Interested in how every member of student government voted on the failed Borders resolution? See my entry here.
“Have you ever had to work? Have you ever had to earn your own way to pay any fraction of the food and beer you consume or the exorbitant cost of college tuition? If so, the University Party, the current minority party in the Michigan Student Assembly, doesnít want to represent you.
I donít purport to be working class, but even still, Iíve worked as a pizza delivery driver, a painter, a reporter, a salesman and a dishwasher to come out financially comfortable at the end of the month at various points in my life, and Iíve known very few students who havenít needed supplementary income in addition to their parentsí dole cue to meet the cost of everyday life, let alone the cost of higher education.
But Iím starting to think that the members of the U Party are the lucky few that didnít have to do any of this.
The U Party touts itself as a voice of neutrality, sweeping aside anything political in MSA in order to pass resolutions that affect students, like expanding the spending power of the Mcard. Of course, the issue of lowering tuition is noticeably absent from its platform.
Last week, MSA was presented with a resolution to support the on-strike workers at the Liberty Street Borders, and U Party representatives with the help of sympathetic Students First anti-worker representatives like Brad Sugar, defeated it.
Again, the U Party reps flaunted their rhetoric in opposition to this resolution, only trying to pathetically hide the fact that it has more of a political agenda than the relatively ideology-less Students First Party.
But some U Party members donít think that such peasants have a right to an education in the first place.
Joel Stone, a U Party representative voting against the resolution said, according to the official MSA minutes, that students ďneed to take into consideration the cost of attending college and if you canít afford it then you need to make another choice.Ē
Thatís right, folks. All you kids who donít come from rich suburbs and are on student loans can just forget about higher education and upward mobility. But Iím sure thereís an opening to be Joel Stoneís shoeshine boy.
ďOh but weíre not elitists,Ē theyíll cry, ďweíre just wary of those thuggish, pesky labor unions.Ē … “