Editor, Daily Nexus,
The ‘pardon’ temporarily granted to the Daily Nexus by the president of A.S. is portrayed in the Santa Barbara News-Press as a grand display of leniency. In truth, the Associated Students Legislative Council is the organization that ought to be facing review.
Whether they’re allotting student-paid funds to an illegal campaign against Schwarzenegger’s ballot initiatives or raising student fees without proper debate or notification, A.S. is about the most unaccountable institutional organization on this campus. The ‘democratic’ process by which its members are chosen cannot itself be represented as inferring legitimacy on their ideological abuse of power, given the pitifully small number of votes cast in its members’ election. Yet the one A.S.-funded campus institution that actually gets used by the majority of students, that actually makes a meaningful contribution to daily campus life and that actually grants UCSB students some notability in the outside world, the Daily Nexus, is now under attack by A.S.
Of course, that analogy doesn’t quite fit the case. The Nexus has exposed A.S.’s abuse of power several times since last year. No doubt the council is savoring the opportunity to totally hide their machinations from the student body under the pretense of ‘disciplining’ a newspaper for taking an advertisement. How transparent.
The fact is that the meaningless political inclinations of the A.S. membership should not be a factor in the functioning of a newspaper. Given their record of irresponsibility, I think it’s time the university reexamined the funding powers granted to A.S. True, California law requires they be given influence in various areas, but I find it hard to believe that there’s nothing other campus authorities can do to reign in this legislature. In the meantime, I ask the student body, if either the A.S. or the Nexus were going to be shut down tomorrow, which would you miss most?