“As a member of the University of Alabama community, I will pursue knowledge; act with fairness, honesty, and respect; foster individual and civic responsibility; and strive for excellence.”
-The Capstone Creed
The Student Leadership Council drafted the Capstone Creed as a statement of values for all members of The University of Alabama family.
Every student at the Capstone should strive to embody these principles every day. And surely some days we will fail, but we cannot just accept that failure. Not anymore.
The University of Alabama’s Student Government Association has for too long accepted, and in some cases embraced, their failures to uphold the Capstone Creed. We, the students, can no longer accept these failures as the status quo. Not when there is so much at stake.
The details regarding the First Year Council applications that were released over fall break represent some problems in the way that we are addressing the issues that we are facing as students.
Speaker of the Senate Ryan Flamerich should not have to release a statement in response to an article run by The Crimson White, as he did last Friday.
The Crimson White is a media outlet created for students and maintained by students, but regardless, they act as a filter. Flamerich should have addressed the student body first. The Crimson White should have released an article in response to his statement, because the students need to be informed first, not the media.
Something that I am glad Flamerich did point out is that these individuals were not acting under the formal direction of the Machine but instead were acting in what they believed was their and the Machine’s best interest. This clearly illustrates that the very people the Machine is supposed to control have their insecurities about its leadership.
This message that these individuals are sending is both good and bad. It is good because we know that the Machine is failing. They are not as together as they want us to believe.
But it is bad because we can now see that it is not just the Machine that is the issue—it’s poisonous ideals.
I think overall Flamerich’s statement and compliance with The Crimson White is admirable. And he did a fantastic job of showing that it is no longer 40 or 50 people meeting in a fraternity house basement that we have to fear. Rather, it is the culture of corruption that they have established.
The fact that these students were acting on their own accord should send a message to everyone at this university that something is wrong. And as someone who struggles daily to try to fulfill the values outlined in the Capstone Creed, I find it slightly offensive that the Speaker of the SGA Senate referred to these individuals as “great people.”
They are not great people. They are bad people. Great people do great things, while bad people work to further establish a culture of corruption and endorse poisonous ideals.
Still, Flamerich should be applauded for trying to provide us direction when we need it most. But we as students need to realize what is going on here.
We have seen multiple instances this semester in which the administration has clearly indicated they are not on our side. We can no longer have a divided Student Government Association and expect to successfully stand up against the current administration. We need unity. Let us renounce the status quo, begin to fulfill the ideals of the Capstone Creed and work to fix this issue before the only voice we have is extinguished.