Monday, August 28, 2000
Houston, Texas
Volume 66, Issue 6 

Cougar Comics Online

Miller on entertainment

Cardenas on emergency rooms

Draughn on corruption

Staff Editorial

Editorial Cartoon


About the Cougar

Letters to the Editor

Setting the facts straight

To the editor:

I told myself that I would not engage in writing to the Daily Cougar on any of the issues that the Student Government Association is having. I don't believe in crying to the press or feel the need to constantly throw my opinion around.

But after reading Jonathan Robinson's column Friday, "Impeachment causes gridlock," I realized that there might be quite a few concerned, but misguided students out there. As the leader of this amazing group of dedicated senators, I feel it is my duty to defend them when attacks that are riddled with inaccuracies are made.

First, Mr. Robinson made a point to write that President James Robertson entered an organization filled with resentment against him. I can tell you that any resentment for him was his own doing -- period. The senators running for re-election had to undergo an election in which Robertson consistently belittled the dedicated, and might I add, uncompensated, effort they put into this organization.

Remarking as to how the Senate had done nothing for the students and that the current Senate really doesn't care about the students were the mainstays of his campaign message. This is not hearsay as I heard it with my very own ears. Now that he has won the presidency, he must serve with these same people who he said were unworthy of student support and trust.

I, as well as most people, would harbor some form of understandable resentment to this blatant character assassination.

Any possible resentment has nothing to do with the current impeachment. The senators are mature enough and respect this organization enough to not subject SGA and the student body to a half-baked, witch hunt of an impeachment. The clear fact is that President Robertson brought this upon himself. A little-known fact is that the author of the impeachment bill, Sen. Richard Russell, was an early supporter of Robertson's and lobbied for his timely swearing in.

Russell, a steadfast supporter of the president and his policies, became aware of possible wrongdoings by the president, and along with nine other senators, introduced a bill to look into the allegations.

This brings me to another point. Mr. Robinson, as well as many other students, are unaware of the specifics of the impeachment and its procedure. Robinson, however, is the only one who took it upon himself to illustrate his ignorance in writing.

Mr. Robinson claimed that the Senate's "endless fascination" with the impeachment has monopolized time and funds. The truth is, the last two Senate meetings have dealt with sound legislative business and not the impeachment at all. I, unlike Mr. Robinson, am writing my opinion with copies of SGA minutes to back up my claims. As for funds, I have to disagree with the SGA budgetary expert, Mr. Robinson, in saying that not one single dollar of SGA money has been spent on the impeachment.

In reference to the dismissed executive appointees, Mr. Robinson claims that the president should be able to fire those he appoints. Truth is, the Constitution allows for only the Senate to dismiss, not the president. Again, I write this with my well-used copy of the SGA Constitution in hand.

Finally, three years ago, this organization was a joke. Nobody wanted to be a part of it or even really cared about it. It took people like myself, former President Tom Cassidy, Student Regent Glenn Turner and a Senate comprised of dedicated people such as Richard Russell and Charles-Michael Berry a lot of time, effort and selflessness to produce an organization that was effective and that the students could be proud of.

The very ones who built this student government are now the ones who are being demonized for defending it by people who now think they are SGA experts. We implore anybody to come talk with us and learn more about SGA before passing judgments on those who truly care about it.

Justin Ray,
SGA speaker of the Senate

Letters Policy

Letters to the editor are welcome from all members of the UH community and should focus on issues, not personalities. Letters must be typed and must include the author's name, telephone number and affiliation with the University. Anonymous letters will not be published. Letters are subject to editing for clarity, language and space. Letters may be delivered in person to Room 151, Communication; e-mailed to dclettrs@mail.uh.edu; or faxed to (713) 743-5384.


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