Letter from the editor

It would appear that Parker Jean, our Associated Students president, has misinterpreted some of the concepts that I took umbrage with in my previous editorial, “Thrusting your political values.”

Last week, the AS hosted an event in which Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, came to Santa Monica College to speak to students about education policy and a number of other issues.

Since then, Jean has gone on the offensive, stating that I misrepresented facts in order to present a skewed and “demeaning appearance of the student government.”

The intention of the article was neither to distort nor to give a demeaning appearance of the AS.

For the record, it should be acknowledged that the AS has been tireless in recent weeks with work that is, largely speaking, solely for the benefit of the student body; specifically, registering new voters, and encouraging students to vote for their best interests.

According to Jean, approximately 600 students have registered as a result of AS efforts, which is commendable.

My perspective in last week’s editorial was that Stein’s visit had nothing to do with getting her elected, but rather to push the political views of the “Green Party-affiliated AS leadership.”

To clarify, when I say leadership, I mean Jean and only Jean—not the entire AS. This could have been expressed more clearly.

The issue with Stein’s visit to SMC on Sept. 26 was not the fact that Stein came to SMC. It was that only Stein came to SMC. Jean, as a Green Party member and someone who ran as a Green Party candidate for Los Angeles City Council, should have been more cautious about

the impression it would give for him to personally present this item on the AS Agenda.

If he was attempting to be equitable, he kind of missed the mark.

“They have their own agendas, I have mine. I have no intention to reach out to other candidates, but I’m extremely open to having other candidates come out here,” Jean said in reference to Stein’s visit.

So if Jean didn’t personally invite her, as he now claims, perhaps he should have said “I have no intention of reaching out to any candidates.”

But that’s just my humble opinion as an editor.

As I have previously expressed, it would have been a great opportunity to have Stein participate in a symposium with other representatives of the political spectrum, so as to give students a well-rounded and informed view. It was my feeling that hosting Stein (whom I rightly consider to be a fringe candidate) gave a marginalized picture of the present election happening in the country today.

Despite this, Jean should be applauded for having organized what he describes as a “state of education sit-in.” Jean, who spoke with me on Tuesday, said that members of all the political parties will come together next week to speak about their platforms on education.

This sounds more like the “free exchange of ideas” that Jean speaks of so highly in his opinion piece “A direct response.” And it is our hope, as the editorial board, that events like this will continue up to Election Day and beyond.

Apropos, our student president’s article charges that I am thrusting my own political views. On that, I’m afraid I stand guilty as charged. It is the function of an editorial to do just that, and on that, I am unapologetic.

It’s in my job description.