Letters to the Editor

USUAA’s motives, credibility in question

As someone who studies both political science and journalism, I’m always frustrated at the lack of cooperation between the government and the fourth branch of government. I’m disappointed to find this trend true of the UAA student government and The Northern Light. I have been a reader of The Northern Light since the first week I started out at UAA and have continued to read it every week. When Jay Johnson wrote to the editor (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 9), I thought that it was great that someone wrote the paper about their concerns of what student government decides to spend its time on. I agree with our student government president that a certain level of professional appearance is expected, but I consider that common sense and not an issue worth debating and voting on.

As a student, my money is sent to the student government whether I like it or not, and since it is my money, use it wisely. I do not care what the student government looks like; I just care what they do. The letter sent to the editor from USUAA states that they question the “credibility and motives” of Johnson because he wrote a letter to the editor, giving him a certain level of anonymity (Letters to the Editor, Oct. 30). I find myself questioning the credibility and motives of my fellow students involved with the student government, how quickly they have turned to mistrust their peers who write of them. These same students are put into their position by relying on those who care about their school enough to participate in such things as voting, coming to student government meetings, voicing concerns and writing to the editor of their student paper.

As I sit here and write this across from the USUAA office and watch the large crowd mingle and joke around the balloons and food and the girls sitting in the laps of the guys who split their attention between them and their UAA computers, I think I’ll pass on sharing my concerns with the student government. I’d rather write a letter to the editor of a paper who may not have authority to make change, but instead gives its readers knowledge to make informed decisions in order that they themselves might be able to create change, than interrupt student government’s party. Thanks but no thanks, student government; when you’re done partying, read the paper for my concerns.

Diamonda Bullington
Anchorage

Officials need to be ethically accountable

I recently read the opinion column “Reprimanded assemblyman guilty of being ethical” (Oct. 23) and have to agree with Derek Chivers. Mr. Bauer may have violated the letter of the code, but he is trying to bring to light some of the possible corruption going on in our own city. Unfortunately, by calling the press conference to report his complaint, not only did he get reprimanded, but now the Ethics Committee will not investigate the complaint as it has been made public. That point was left out of the article. The issue of not investigating complaints once they’re made public needs to be revisited and changed, as it could lead to potentially more unethical behavior by the people elected to represent us. Again, another great article by The Northern Light. Keep up the good reporting, and keep holding elected officials accountable, as well as those appointed by the mayor.

Regarding James Liszka’s statement that he didn’t remember writing the $100 check, I realize he makes a great deal more money at his job than I do at mine, but I do remember when I write large checks, whether for political contributions or to pay my bills. The “Clinton defense” (“I don’t recall”) doesn’t play here.

Brenda Henderson
UAA Communication & Discourse Studies