Staff Editorial – Knowing when to quit

At some point in every person’s life, they should be able to come to the realization that being right and actually doing the right thing are two very different things.

The obstinate self-righteousness of making your case at the expense of others is not only childish, but shows a lack of respect. When that obstinance appears in an individual attempting to lead the great body of students on this campus, that lack of self-restraint brings undue hardship and confusion to thousands.

In our view, Student Association president-elect Michael Johnson has exploited due process and made a mockery of an election by refusing to sign the GPA waiver form and disclose his GPA.

His grievance filed with the S.A. Supreme Court states that he has been "discriminated" by the constitution’s minimum GPA, which states an S.A. president must have a 2.2 GPA at the time of taking office. It is a last ditch effort for Johnson to take office. Should he lose his case, his seat will fall to the line of succession and Vice President T.J. Scandaliato will take over as the top executive in S.A.

But in the meantime, paperwork must be filed, cases must be made and more time must be wasted as one student uses valuable resources and useful money to prove his point for the sake of being right.

Legally, Johnson has every right to file grievance if he feels he has been wronged. Yet he has flaunted his case and his refusal to abide by the system to the point that it is no longer about fighting discrimination. It is no longer about doing the right thing and fighting for justification. Instead, it has been built up in such a dramatic fashion that it is about being right and flying in the face of others.

Throughout his campaign, Johnson claimed he was the student’s representative in S.A. Now he will claim that he is the student’s elected president after winning the election by a narrow margin, regardless of whether he is eligible or not.

If anything, the entire process has left even more students disenfranchised with their government than ever. What does it say to student’s who have worked hard in an academic setting to achieve a high GPA that their representative made it to the top, not by working hard, but by finding a loophole? It reinforces a fundamental flawed development in our current society that you want to do something, get a good lawyer and things will happen.

Students are now even more likely to distance themselves from the student government because of the very apparent lack of order and agreement taking place. Why should students trust fellow students to be their representative leader when they cannot agree with one another and are constantly trying to find loopholes to get their own way? People look for a role model to be their leader, someone who is honorable and is willing to adhere to rules and regulations, yet still get work done. This year’s election has put the disarray that has been taking place within the walls of the S.A. offices on display, and we at The Oswegonian do not blame anyone who wishes to wipe their hands clean and take no part in the student government.

Is there some legal loophole for Johnson to take office? Probably. If our nation’s fathers can construct a constitution that can launch 200-plus years of legal battles and nuanced renditions, a document written by a few Oswego State students can surely do the same thing.

Yet, just because someone in this world could probably find a hole by which slavery was not abolished by the 13th amendment does not make it fair, right or just.

In our view, Michael Johnson should concede to his ineligibility and let the line of succession take over the S.A. Executive Branch. If he were really the people’s president, he’d understand why. It’s time to put away the boxing gloves and realize when the fight is over. It is not about fighting for what the students want anymore. It’s not about fighting an unjust system. It has become about the theatrics. And frankly, a student should not be concerned with dramatics when representing the student body.