If you’re a student on campus, you most likely received the email from WSA vice presidential candidate Ben Firke ’12, decrying the “smear campaign” of presidential candidate Bradley Spahn ’11 and reiterating his support for Micah Feiring ’11. A few of us Wesleyingers were surprised by the email’s introduction:
Bradley Spahn is a friend of mine and I have tremendous respect for him. However, I have been troubled by the tone of his campaign and the personal attacks he has made over the past few days. Brad’s smear campaign has resulted in Wesleying refusing to post his attacks and the Argus condemning the tenor of his campaign, and it has troubled me to the point where I can no longer remain silent.
Whoa whoa whoa. Hold yer horses, y’all. This shitstorm’s getting windy. Commentary after the jump.
Let’s back up for a sec. Unlike the Argus, Wesleying does not have a hierarchical, sometimes paid staff that is organized to present monolithic editorial opinion. It should be obvious that we don’t take sides in WSA elections. We’re just a smattering of bloggers, at best loosely organized and most often on totally different pages. If you took our collective posts as comprehensive opinions, you’d conclude that we all support over-sized marijuana cigarettes instead of actual students.
Here’s what did happen: after one blogger posted Jeff Stein ’10‘s letter in support of Bradley Spahn, some of us got freaked out by the letter’s attack-like tone. Wesleying should be a place for debate, but we mostly agree that it should be a place for constructive conversation about making this campus the kind of place we all want it to be. It shouldn’t be a place for bellicose personal sentiments directed against individual students. We can all hate on Delmar Crim together, but it’s less fun to shit on one of our own.
Given that Wesleying doesn’t collectively take a stance on the election, it doesn’t really make sense for Ben to use our content or our actions in support of Micah’s candidacy. We don’t really take a position at all. Mostly, we like to provide information and then have a fun time pointing out the absurdity of it all. If we do have an opinion in the matter, it’s probably in support of Giant Joint. And, that said, there are certainly some Wesleying bloggers who think that the GJ campaign is ridiculous. We try to have a little something for everyone. So please keep us out of your campaign attacks?
Geez. I’ll breathe a little easier once this election is over. One Wesleying alum asked, “who’s been spiking all the drinks at Usdan with Haterade?” I have no idea. Can someone spike the kegs with chill pills tonight?
If you really want to be informed on the whole situation, there’s no use pretending that Jeff’s letter isn’t posted on the ACB (along with comments saying that Wesleying was “sovietized”). I’m sure that Ben’s email will be posted there, too. You can read it if you really want to, and draw your own conclusions about the issue. Other material worthy of your attention: the Argus’ critiques of campaign attacks and excessive campaigning; Argus coverage of the student-run café and the proposed open container rules; a Wespeak in support of Micah’s student-run EMT program and a Wespeak that expresses doubt about his qualifications on the same issue; the Argus’ coverage about the new financial aid committee, of which Brad is co-chair; various Argus articles about Ben’s activities as head of the dining committee; Argus and Wesleying coverage of the presidential debate; and previous Wesleying posts regarding the election. Feel free to suggest other worthy links in the comments.
[EDIT: 4/22, 5:04]
More online coverage to mull over: Over at Aural Wes, O))) has an incendiary anti-Micah, pro-GJ piece about being on the other side of the 190 High incident last summer.