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Bullied into the ASUA Input Forum

By Kirsten Tynan
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 22, 1999
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To the editor,

When Ben Graff pitched the Student INPUT Forum, I was surprised and encouraged. However, I did not want to waste my time at some gimmick event so I asked a lot of questions. Among other things, I asked if we would know ahead of time what the topics would be discussed.

He said that the two to three most popular topics listed on the RSVP cards for the event would be announced in the reminder e-mail we would receive ahead of time. He also said that we did not have to attend the Forum if they were not of interest to us. Great! I naively thought, and I signed up.

When I received the "reminder" e-mail, there was no mention of the two to three topics, and I was instructed that if I could not attend then I would have to send an alternate representative in my place. Reluctantly, I attended, figuring that at least there was some chance that something substantive might be discussed.

On the day of the event I rushed from my job to the university in order to find parking and get to the Forum on time. I arrived to find many vacant seats, which probably explains why the Forum started half an hour late.

After we got started, Ben was going to take a vote (one vote per table) on the first topic to be discussed. We would then have to sit through the first topic, whether or not it affected us, in order to find out the second topic. I asked that instead the two topics be decided before discussion began so that I could leave if the topics did not affect me.

Ironically, it was in the name of "democracy" that Ben single-handedly vetoed that suggestion. At that point I chose to leave, having already wasted two hours.

The fact that Ben feels it is necessary and appropriate to bully students into attending his "student input" event demonstrates total lack of respect for students in spite of his rhetoric.

Talk is cheap. Now all I need to know is where I can pick up my refund.

Kirsten Tynan
Non-degree-seeking graduate student