Many of you claim Weiss is over...yet, with this latest disservice to the strongest cultural-voting-block on campus, one could make the case Weiss could be in prime position to gain a base. The other day I read in the NYT that NYC Mayor Bloomberg had scrapped plans for a presidential run due to lack of a base-of-support (i.e. a state or region) henceforth if Weiss secured the a strong cultural vote, in addition to his house and other small houses, and made worthy concessions to the GDI's, I don't think anyone could say he's over.
I have NOT forgotten about you James. I'm actively working on your interview questions.
& Now,Sen. J. Clayton Brett's Cingular Bill Response:
I guess I agree with the argument that seems to be the overarching sentiment of the Cingular post and several of the comments: If one were to base their entire opinion about the bill, Senator Baker, and myself on the content of that single article, then yes, we look like huge elitist jackasses. However, although your article does ask valid questions about Senate’s necessary role as student-advocate, I must argue that you should have probably stopped short of calling this my “blunder-of-the-semester.” By detailing my thought process, I hope to show that the split vote was more likely a result of genuinely differing ideologies about the scope of effective SG governance.
First, I should point out that I was slightly misquoted, and as much as I like Jesse, she also did a nice job of using my least glamorous, least effective line to represent the 5 or so minutes I used during pro-con debate. The real quote was (rough, from memory) “Simply because it is the nuisance of several students does not make it appropriate for an SG resolution.” This does not argue that Student Government is in any way “above” the concerns of the average student, but it does certainly clarify that there must be some standard that defines a compelling issue’s relevance and solvability with respect to SG.
The quoted phrase, which was taken from the latter end of my argument, was made to introduce a greater question of how to define the scope of SG jurisdiction. In a historical context, Senate has a confusing set of precedents to guide their behavior on legislation like this. Without going into the question begged by the previous sentence (the question of whether precedent should be even exist within legislatures), I’ll just say that I believe that the high turnover rate of the Senate creates a conducive atmosphere for the existence of policy precedents, and we should thus at least consider them within our policy debates.
So, following from the previous two paragraphs, the question becomes: What is this “standard of efficacy” an issue must reach to warrant a Senate resolution? I believe I answered that question during the Cingular debate. If you look at every issue outside the immediate scope of Student Government where SG has still been able to provide tangible benefits for the students, they all have one thing in common. There must be an immediate and direct point of contact between SG exec. and the relevant outside party. Parking & transportation, graduate student insurance, gameday tailgate ordinances, blue lights/blue phones, hurricane hotline, and the investigation of Moseley and I into CD Coursepacks are all issues that involved preexisting committees or relationships. I argued that Cingular fell well outside those boundaries, and the authors did not disagree with me.
A corollary to this necessary connection is that it SG must be able to provide the outside party with a rationale for change. I talked about this at the beginning of Pro/Con, and backed it up with a considerable amount of data. Put it this way: If every single student, administrator, and faculty member at the University of Florida were a Cingular subscriber, then we would still make up less than one-one thousandth of the corporation’s market. Okay, many people were willing to look past that. Fine – but couple that with the fact that Cingular already invested $470 M in the past two years to improve coverage in Northern Florida…. and the company had already publicly addressed and explained the reasons for Gainesville’s problems (growing pains of a growing network, they claimed)… and now we’re looking like damn fools. I agree with Gavin’s point that we have a limited amount of political capital, and we ought to use it more wisely than this…
Finally, I contested the preparedness, thoroughness, and clarity of the resolution itself. Now, I will be the first to tell you that Josh Richard and Jordan Loh have great futures as Senators. I was impressed by their courage and forthrightness with this resolution. However, neither author (nor supporting Senator for that matter) could provide any statistics, information, or action plan for this resolution. No one even thought to contact Cingular before presenting this bill! Almost every “pro” argument involved fallacious analogies (comparing this to the Darfur Resolution) or purely anecdotal evidence, and the persistence of the latter was absolutely embarrassing. I simply don’t understand how someone could even believe they could refute a well-constructed, logically sound argument with a story that their friend told them. Or something. The nail in the coffin was that the language of the bill was stunningly ambiguous and provided absolutely no criteria for “success.” The authors also readily admitted to this while presenting the bill… The sum of these factors led to my words and actions on the Senate floor that night, which I believe just proved to be quite justifiable and defensible. ☺
I welcome any further debate here. However, I must warn you. According to my Gatorpedia entry, I will “come at you with fists and nails” if I am challenged. Haha.
John Clayton Brett
Swamp Party Leader
District B Senator
Sen. Brett remains by favorite majority senator. I do ride him on the blog a little, but hey, only the best for my readers. Am I delusional, yes maybe a little, but I do love this blog.
These bastards are raping me at $0.20 minute. Gotta go.
Let's hope Sam's story makes it to Monday's Alligator, where it belongs.
I hope the Radikal has enough clout to make this happen; we shall soon find out.