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Staff Editorial: Your candidates, your SGO . . . Do you care?


Monday’s candidates forum was in many respects quite revealing, and not just about the candidates. You can read their responses to the questions, and I strongly encourage everyone to view the video of the session to draw their own conclusions. [Video will be available on Monday May 7 – Ed.]

This was an opportunity missed by so many. It was open and available to all, live; if you couldn’t be there, Chris Ceary was taking questions via Twitter and Facebook, and the video was live-streamed. In the audience? About 20 people, most of them The-Quill staffers. The question began to form, does anybody care about this election?

The candidates had to respond spontaneously to the questions; they had no prior knowledge of what would be asked. At first glance, one might think these are surface issues and the answers don’t say much. But look closely at the words each candidate chose and how much their answers reveal about their knowledge of what they’re getting into should they be elected. The spoken word reveals so much about how a person processes and forms their opinions. A government relies on people who can grasp an issue quickly and use their knowledge and experience to form an opinion, and, also, on people with the courage to say “I don’t know enough about this, I need to find out the facts first.” Spontaneous answers like these tell you what depth the person brings to the responsibility, whether or not they are listening to the constituent,  their own level of confidence, and their honesty.  In this regard, most of the candidates were a disappointment.  It would seem that taking a course in Public Speaking should be a requirement for SGO candidacy.

What first struck me, sitting in the audience, was how often several members had to ask for questions to be repeated. I could understand Ji Il Han asking for repeats or clarifications because he is dealing  (and dealing well, by the way) with English being a second language. He mentioned that he is aware of his language barrier, but I think he displayed adequate understanding to be on SGO.  His barrier may be more about insensitive people who hear his difficulty and stop listening for the content of his words.  But the impression Marco Sumpter, Anna Cook and Karlie Pickett left is that they have a focus issue, that one person speaking while they were supposedly formulating their own answer to a question left them confused. I’ve been to one SGO meeting and it seems to work that way, with multiple-sided conversations going on and different answers to questions. It made me question how effective these three could be in that environment.

Another overall observation was how often each person simply reiterated the answer given by the person speaking before them. Sumpter in particular was most often given to simply agreeing with those around him. Han and Pickett, on the other hand, actually had their own opinions and stuck to them. When it comes to any sort of government, I prefer the someone who actually thinks for themself and has the guts to voice an unpopular opinion. It makes for better, more involved debate and consideration of an issue. It takes courage of one’s own convictions to stand apart from the crowd and risk being unpopular.  Joshua Lillehang introduced himself as a people person, who likes to please everybody.  While that’s a great attribute for an assistant to anything, it is certainly not indicative of someone who has the courage to voice his own opinion when its unpopular.

Mandi Wilson’s responses seemed to hit several times on the communication gap between “adults and students.”  Does she not consider herself, or the other students here, adults? This is a community college that serves people from their first year out of high school throughout their life.  A large portion of the student body are working adults, anywhere from ages 21 to 65.  Is her connection to the student body limited to people under age 21?  What does that say about her level of judgement, her ability to balance variables in considering an issue? If every issue is seen by her to be students vs adults, I don’t think Wilson can represent a majority of the student body.

In preparation for this forum, I reviewed the “platform” of each candidate.  Cook, Wilson, and Sumpter all hit upon how their experience on SGO would build their leadership skills, give them experience, and expand their portfolio.  Good; those kind of opportunities are what Community College should be about.  But what will their presence on SGO do for the student body?  Apparently, it’s all about them. A well thought out platform would tell what issues the person thinks are facing, or should face, SGO next year and where they stand on that issue.  I hope in writing their responses to the unanswered questions for The Quill, the candidates give us reasons to vote for them beyond whether or not we are their friends.

Everyone on the panel was aware that there is too little communication between the student body and the SGO.  Pickett presented some specific ideas as to how she would open up communications that sound reasonable and throughout all the other questions, kept making the point that keeping SGO connected to the student body is the primary issue.  Cook revealed herself to be proactively inclined by asking for more goal setting for SGO.  Sumpter was willing to go along with everything everybody else said, and Lillehaug sounded like he was willing to eavesdrop and then insert himself into conversations to find out what students think. Han is confident that his circle of friends will provide the survey info he will need.

Now, please remember that of these candidates, Sumpter, Cook, Wilson, and Lillehaug, are incumbents. They’ve been working on SGO for at least one year now and should be pretty knowledgeable. So when asked if SGO should have a voting presence on the Board of Trustees, it was alarming that none of them answered with: “SGO already has a presence; the president of SGO attends the Board meetings.” This was clarified; the President of SGO does attend the Board Meetings, but does not vote.  A show of hands identified that all agreed SGO should have a voting member except Han. I happen to agree with them on this. At one time in my career, I worked for the Association of College Boards of Trustees. It’s a pretty common constitutional clause, that the SGO have a voting member on the board. Why Carroll doesn’t do this, I have no idea.

In many ways, this forum left me with the impression that this SGO is probably very much like that of high school SGOs. It is manned by the people who all like to be involved in the school issues and they get elected by their group of friends who have the same opinions. It is a government of the majority by the minority, because the majority has little interest. After this forum, I’ve been asking in my classes who knew about the forum, why didn’t they attend,  and are they going to vote, do they care about the SGO election. It was disheartening that every person I spoke with answered no, no, no and no. One comment I got was, “Hey, this is Community College. I barely have time to go to classes, get my studies done, and work to pay for the tuition. I don’t have time for clubs, activities or any other issues.” Sadly, I understand this comment. It is the reality for most of us, and what it reveals is that to be relevant to the students, the SGO has to get focused and become exceptionally  visible on the issues of class accessibility, curriculum quality, and costs of attendance. Everything else is just glitter.  I think we need some candidates who can think clearly and be our advocates on these issues; so far such candidates are not in evidence.

Perhaps the unspoken issue is how to convince the student body that SGO is important to their educational career. Admittedly, college is a means to an end, the one way to ensure that your working career is on an upwardly mobile track.  Consider the fact that getting that first job out of college, or the promotion from having taken a group of courses, is as much based on who you know as what you know.  The connections you make help you market yourself, so being an invisible student in the herd that shuffles from one class to the other doesn’t really give you those connections.  When these candidates talk about how being on SGO adds to their portfolio, they’re right in that employers, transfer schools and graduate schools consider these emblematic of leadership.  There’s never a question of how capable that leadership was, just that it occurred.  When you never make time for club involvement, never have an impact on the school you’ve been attending, and ignore the issues facing the SGO, you’re missing half the portfolio that is expected by the larger world out there.  Take the first step, make your opinion known to these candidates and have an impact on this school.


37 Comments on "Staff Editorial: Your candidates, your SGO . . . Do you care?"

  1. BlahBlahBlah | May 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Reply

    Glad you’re a mean spirited lady who can’t tell the actual truth about what happened that day.

  2. Someone who knows | May 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Reply

    this is an insult to every candidate who is running. if you have such strong opinions on how YOU think our SGO should run, then you needed to be up on stage with these folks giving your thoughts. obviously someone so close-minded would attack others who have already served on our SGO with fresh ideas and concepts. Our current SGO has done a lot for this college and as a reporter, you only focused on how to reject on-the-spot answers. this article is a joke.

    • You make a good point, that “[o]ur current SGO has done a lot for this college,” one of those things being their unfailing support in the creation and funding of this very newspaper.

      Ms. McGrath states that, “that to be relevant to the students, the SGO has to get focused and become exceptionally visible on the issues of class accessibility, curriculum quality, and costs of attendance. Everything else is just glitter. I think we need some candidates who can think clearly and be our advocates on these issues; so far such candidates are not in evidence.”

      By her own estimation, the considerable time and money spent in support of The Quill amounts to “just glitter?” I would think that this was one area of leadership and advocacy that she herself would commend the incumbent members of the SGO on.

      One thing is for certain – while still voting in favor of support and funding for the newspaper over the past year, knowing that the The Quill itself would sink to the level of malicious opinion pieces would have had them doing so with heavy hearts.

  3. Ben Cook - Secretary of SGO | May 7, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply

    I am surprised and appalled about the attack on quite a few of our students that has just been written in this article regarding the SGO forum that took place last Tuesday (Not Monday). These students are the leaders of the student body. They are the ones that are proactively seeking to get involved and make these hard decisions and I commend them for that. If anyone can do better than I suggest that individual to step up to the challenge.

    First off, the character, quality, and degree of qualification for the SGO candidacy does not depend on whether or not the candidate is a good public speaker. So many great world leaders and representatives in the past have not been great public speakers. Public speaking is not an essential requirement for being a great leader, and on a smaller scale, representing the student body on SGO for Carroll Community College. Was George Washington a great public speaker? Or was he more quiet and resolved, like Mr. Sumpter, meanwhile portraying outstanding leadership and wisdom? There are few requirements to be a member of SGO and they should stay the same. Communicating is more than speaking.

    In addition, the fact that the candidates sometimes asked for the question to be repeated, in no way reflects a focus issue among the candidates. Could it be that they wanted to answer the question with an answer geared directly towards the question? If a teacher gave an oral test wouldn’t you want to make sure that he or she repeated the question to make sure that you answer it properly? There is no problem whatsoever with asking for a question to be repeated. There is also no problem with formulating an answer while the other is speaking. Have you been on a debate team? These are students that are actively seeking to be a part of their college. Let’s give them some credit for what they do.

    Next, I will defend young Mr. Sumpter. Is it wrong to agree with someone? We live in Carroll County. Many of the students here at the college were brought up in the same environment. For this reason, they have the same values. Is it wrong that Mr. Sumpter agreed with Ms. Cook? Or did he have to voice a different opinion? What if his opinion was exactly the same? Does he have to come up with a new way to say the same thing? Or can he simply agree? We are not looking for a heated debate that is overly involved. We are looking to find out what each of the candidates thinks on a certain issue. So if someone agrees then let him agree and don’t ask him for a new answer that says the exact same thing. His thinking may be exactly the same as someone else. I, unlike you, know young Mr. Sumpter personally and he is a very competent person and capable of forming ideas just as well as any other person. Maybe he gets nervous in front of a crowd. He admitted that. But judging a book by its cover is not a smart way to go about things no matter who you write for.

    In defense of young Ms. Wilson, perhaps she was simply clarifying that the vast majority of students here at Carroll Community College are, in fact, below the age of twenty-five. When running for office, a popular strategy is to go after the target group, that is the majority. And the majority is indeed young. Even if Ms. Wilson made the mistake of considering any issue “students vs. adults, then she would still be representing the majority. The “balanced” variable would be about 75-25%. It also is true that a very large percentage of the faculty and staff here at the college is above the traditional “college age.” I have served on SGO with Ms. Wilson and she has made important decisions while taking into account the well-being of our older students as well. That is a fact. I agree. If what you say about Ms. Wilson is true then I want her off SGO right away! However, I actually do know her in person and that is not the case. Do not judge a nervous book in front of a crowd by the cover that has about ten seconds to portray.

    I am unclear about your remarks regarding how you think the current members of SGO think that it is “All about them.” SGO does play an active part in seeking out the wants and needs of the student body and doing everything that they can do satisfy them. Luke Fisher is a great man and a great leader. A few years ago this college had nothing in regards to an active newspaper that reported on things. SGO was the board that approved the club, and had the part in giving them the thousands that they needed, all the while encouraging him so that you could someday write on the Quill. They make many major decisions for the student body. If you want to find out what, then I suggest that you come to an SGO meeting. I will note that I do not remember which meeting you came to as I have served on SGO and been to every meeting for a year now. Drop by sometime and find out what it is really like.

    I know that this article was written in the opinion section and that you are entitled to your own opinion and I respect that. I also respect that just as these SGO candidates are willing to take action, you are willing to voice your opinion as well. I am simply telling you right now that my opinion is that your opinion is misconstrued and quick to assume. I mean no harm, I am simply stating my opinion as well. Perhaps real facts should be looked up before assumptions are made. We all know what assuming does to us.

    — Ben Cook – Secretary of SGO

  4. -Brittany Hill - Senator of SGO | May 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply

    Mrs. McGrath,

    I find this article to be very rude, attacking candidates who were stating their opinions. Just as you have stated your opinion in the article above, I am going to state mine.

    I have worked with Anna, Mandi, Josh, and Marco this current year as members of the SGO, bringing ideas to the meetings to better the school and student body. Not only are these ideas great, they are new and fresh perspectives. Let me assure you, they ARE NOT “All about them.” I find it a tad strange for you to think that, as the SGO has given many opportunites to students, including how Mr. Cook mentioned the Newspaper Club above.

    You say that you have attended an SGO meeting, and if in fact you did, I have not seen you there; however, I know that if you did come to one, you would see that our meetings are professional and we accomplish everything we need to. We may make jokes or include humor in some of them, but that is all of the members personalities coming together as one cohesive group.

    Not only are we a good group, we are also good public speakers. This is something else you would find if you came to a meeting. On a personal level, I know that myself and others do not need to take a public speaking class in order to run for a position on the SGO. Let’s remind ourselves that this is not a class and we do not need a pre-requisite in order to run for office.

    I find that your mentioning of reiteration is also questionable, as you repeat yourself many times throughout this article. A great public speaker is allowed to re-ask questions, just as these candidates did at the debate.

    Lastly, I do respect your opinion, but I do not respect this article. There are other ways to communicate how you feel without attacking individuals. Adding on to that, as I am a candidate who did not go to the debate, why have you not attacked myself as well?

  5. Can I remind everyone that this is under OPINION… just a thought…

  6. Chris Ceary | May 7, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Reply

    I want to thank you all for coming on and sharing your counterpoints on this matter. A lot of you seem to have very strong views on this topic. The Quill is about hearing every side. If any of you are interested in writing a counter piece letter to the editor, I would be very interested in seeing them.
    If you would like to write or discuss writing a piece, please email me at opeditor@the-quill.org
    Thank you,
    Chris Ceary
    Opinions Editor

  7. Some of these candidates are kind-hearted students who just couldn’t be nicer. Regardless, I do not feel they are right for SGO for many, but not all, of the reasons that Ms. McGrath stated. It does feel like the SGO is being treated like a high school club and that it is much like a clique in the sense SGO was in high school. They are very nice people, but they don’t cut it for these sort of leadership positions.

  8. Luke Fisher | May 7, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply

    While I am no longer Editor-in-Chief, I do believe that as founder of The-Quill and co-moderator of the SGO Forum that I should comment.

    -A staff editorial is the opinion of the person who wrote it and not necessarily the staff as a whole, and The-Quill stands by all of their editorials.
    -The role of the media (The-Quill) is to serve as a watchdog and provide a forum for people to both learn about and respond to situations that affect their daily life. As elected officials and candidates, who fill an integral position at the college, the SGO members should expect to be held accountable for their decisions and their words. The SGO should also be aware that editorials will be written about them.
    -A common theme in the SGO Forum was communication. The-Quill serves as one avenue of communication. Joan McGrath is a student of Carroll Community College, and as such her opinion should be valued as much as any other student. If any student sees issues with a public body, such as the SGO, then it is my hope that the members of that body would take them into consideration.
    -I appreciate everyone who has read this editorial and commented. The-Quill is, and will always be, a public forum where all members of the college community can feel free to raise an open dialogue about issues.

    Thank You,

    Luke Fisher
    Founder of The-Quill

  9. Someone who knows better | May 7, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Reply

    If this piece is an insult to the candidates, it is a deserved one. Mrs. McGrath is a hundred percent accurate on many points throughout her piece. It is absurd for any candidates to be running for leadership positions and claim that they would like to use said position to develop leadership skills. I for one prefer my elected officials to come with leadership already included.
    Equally ridiculous is the candidate who kept referring to a disconnect between “adults and students.” If the candidate doesn’t consider herself an adult, why would she expect any of the good portion of students who definitely are adults to follow her anywhere? Yeah ,there is a disconnect because we(the grown ups) have had real life experiences and know about a little something I like to call real life.
    If anything, anyone associated with SGO should be thrilled that Joan thinks you guys deserve a vote at the board meetings. If the students are able to have a proper say in school issues and could stop them from using my tuition to further personal agendas, no one would be happier than me. Sadly, it’s that “proper” bit that seem like it will be the issue.

    • “Someone who Knows better,” May I ask to what points are you referring to that she is one hundred percent correct on? Also, what makes you think that the very people who made (make) this school as great as it is would use your tuition money to “further personal agendas?” Do you even know what they will use that tuition increase for? I happen to know, and it is far from that. In addition, why would you insult someone who you don’t even know? And if you are so bent on insulting us, why not use your name?

      Anna Cook- SGO Treasurer

      • Someone who knows better | May 8, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply

        I am not referring to a tuition increase, I am more concerned with the tuition I already pay being used to hold religious gatherings at the college with little to no attendance by students and things of that nature. That’s happened twice in as many years. Also, I am not bent on insulting anyone at all. I actually think it’s kinda cute, all the little kids having elections to select what amounts to the next Little Rascal.

        • Ian McNally | May 8, 2012 at 9:09 pm | Reply

          hmmm, “religious gatherings at the college with little to no attendance..”? lets consider that Cru (the Christian club on campus) is the second largest club on campus, hoding weekly meetings with a regular attendance of 35-40 people. Cru not only impacts the live of students and faculty, but also the surrounding community. The same is true of every club (a service project is required in order to receive funds. None of these student enriching clubs or programs would be possible without these “cute elections”, so i find that sarcastic remark to contribute nothing of value to this discussion. SGO makes what you do possible, so lets not attack the hand that feeds us.
          -Ian McNally

  10. Fred Engels | May 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Reply

    The Quill??? More like the shill. We all know you’re on the Ji Il Han dole, and this article just proves it. This is an example of yellow journalism at its finest. I’ve got news for you people, there isn’t even a Board of Trustees, they made it up just for this article. I’ve done the research. The curtain has been pulled back and the quill has been exposed for what it is. Shameful, shameful stuff guys.

  11. An objective observer | May 7, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Reply

    Ben Cook, whether knowingly or unknowingly, illuminated the salient point that arose in my mind after reading this opinion piece; namely, where was the editor and why wasn’t he doing his job? The very first word of the piece is factually incorrect, and likely to have been the easiest of all to have noticed and corrected. My feeling would be that beyond such simple tasks as checking facts, spelling and grammar, the editor would have done well to have additionally questioned the tone and spirit of the piece.

    While no one should debate that an opinion piece is just that, I might have questioned whether the apparent intent of the article – charging students to get involved in their college and realizing the importance of being involved as it relates to their future – was well-supported (or supported at all) by spending so much of the piece on negative personal characterizations of the very students who have endeavored to do just that.

    An editor might have taken the time to read into the several semi-related thoughts that close the final paragraph and advised the author to more clearly choose their topic. If the final offering steered even more in the direction of personal attacks on the students, then the piece need not be published. However, if the piece once edited actually supported the exhortation by the author to become involved, and to have an impact on the school for the better, then I would dare say that it would have been more well-received.

    As it was published, this opinion piece will likely only serve to remind countless other students thinking about getting involved (or being invited to an open forum hosted by their newspaper) that no good deed goes unpunished.

  12. Mandi WIlson | May 7, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Reply

    First of all…..although everyone is entitled to their opinion…..they should have their facts straight before they try to write an article. The SGO has been extremely successful this year and Ms. McGrath has no room to complain. The SGO has given TONS of money to The-Quill to get it running, and to send them to New York! The things she quoted in her article are out of context and some of them are only half of the quote….that is slander. It is really sad that someone feels the need to use slander in this situation. I am appalled that anyone would want to turn away student involvement, even if the students are not exactly who you want to be involved. A COLLEGE COULD NOT BE RUN WITHOUT THE STUDENTS. And no matter what age they are; whether they are 21, 47, or 33, they are indeed STUDENTS and the faculty is ADULTS. None of the faculty is under the age of 18, this is what I, Mandi Wilson, was referring to when I said students-vs-adults. It’s sure is easy to sit here and bash the SGO when you really know nothing about it….going to one meeting does not tell you all you need to know…unless of course you like to assume. Until you step up to the challenge of serving on the SGO board, you dedicate the time and accomplish the tasks we have accomplished, you have no idea what it is like and what it takes. We can not please everyone, and it is very unfortunate that there is quite a number of people that seemed to be displeased. As Ben Cook stated, it is not required to be a great public speaker in order to be a candidate for SGO, so therefore putting YOUNG STUDENTS on the spot with some thoughtful questions should require some time on their answers. As much as SGO wants to be important to all the students at Carroll and keep the school unified, it is clear that everyone will have their own opinion, be it positive or negative. It is important to remember that these students running were willing to step up to the challenge and they had the guts to participate. It’s hard for someone to hate the game standing on the sidelines.

    Thank you,
    Mandi Wilson

    • Oh, Mandi. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

      Abraham Lincoln once said, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

      Quoting things out of context or only using half the quote, while poor reporting, is not slander. http://bit.ly/Jayze8 You may have been thinking of libel, but even that interpretation would be tenuous at best.

      I wish I knew how to respond to that final comment about people hating games and standing on the sidelines, but I am certain that absolutely nobody will understand what point you were trying to convey, so why bother?

      • Someone Who Cares | May 8, 2012 at 12:10 am | Reply

        Her point is that if you don’t know how it works and aren’t “playing” (conducting the activity), you can’t complain about it. If you are so literate using links to websites, surely you should not be bashing a young adult who made a great analogy. Take a step back and re-read the sentence before saying something. Better yet, shoot YOURSELF in the foot.

        • I’m ‘literate’ because I use links to websites? Seriously, is that what you think literate means? I think the problem I have with the both of you is that you use the wrong words to try to say what you mean.

          It may be ‘wrong’ to hate the game while standing on the sidelines, but it’s not ‘hard.’ Assuming she meant ‘difficult,’ since ‘hard’ is a description of something feeling ‘firm.’

          Since we’re directing people to re-read things, check out that quote above by Abe Lincoln, fool.

          • Someone Who Cares | May 8, 2012 at 12:40 am |

            Who are you, my mother?! I didn’t think so. Until you serve on the SGO and dedicate all if your time to it, you will have no idea what it takes. The fact that you’re still arguing over the Quill is quite pathetic. References to Abe Lincoln, who has been dead for years, does not make your comment better. Sorry. Also, I didn’t ask for a lesson on the words in the dictionary. Neither did Mandi. I’m pretty sure I also have no problem telling you what I mean in this comment. Go read your dictionary. Oh, and as for the fool comment, I’m sure you can find a better word to fit your statement.

          • From a student's perspective who is not close friends with any of the SGO members but still has to interact with them. | May 8, 2012 at 1:33 am |

            To Someone Who Cares, it does not matter if they haven’t served on SGO to dedicate all of their time to it. That is not the point and that is not the issue. The issue is that we have candidates that people are obviously unhappy with. If this is how members or supporters of SGO act then I do not want them in office. The Quill is a public forum. People can argue over whenever and however they want. That’s called free speech. Your anger only give these young adults a bad name and shows that many can’t handle reacting in a proper way when faced with criticism. Oh well. Please get over yourself.

    • Tocqueville, who criticized America but never lived there | May 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Reply

      To those who have said or implied that one should not (or cannot) criticize something without trying it / being part of it, I was wondering why you aren’t also over in The Quill’s film section pointing out to the writers how their commentary is without merit since they themselves are not filmmakers?

      OK, so you think my example is apples and oranges… Let’s stick with politics. Have any of you have ever criticized a President of the United States without ever having been President yourself? I imagine you have. And of course doing so should never be considered wrong or improper; it’s part of what democracy is all about.

      Not only are people employing a spurious type of reasoning, they’re doing so in the most self-serving, hypocritical way imaginable; namely, only when they — or their friends — are the targets.

  13. Good Evening,

    I would like to begin by officially recognizing an error made in this editorial. The SGO candidate forum was held on Tuesday May 1 not Monday April 30. We regret this oversight.

    Furthermore, I would like to make clear that The-Quill is partially funded by the Student Government Organization, as has been mentioned multiple times in this discussion. We have never been secret about this fact (http://the-quill.org/?page_id=95). To that end, allow me to make it equally clear that at no time will this funding serve to silence our voice when it comes to the SGO. Joan McGrath, in addition to being a Quill staff member, is a Carroll Community College student. Her voice must be heard. If it has created an uproar, so be it. SGO candidates are public figures and should be prepared for public discourse – even, at times, negative discourse – to be shaped around their words and actions. This is nothing less than a proud American tradition. If there is nothing to be said of a candidate – if only mild pleasantries sound from the chorus – then that discourse is trite and useless. That is to say, it is no discourse at all.

    I told all of the candidates at the forum that I appreciated their attendance – I did. I do. I appreciate the bravery it took to sit before an audience of your peers and answer question after question. As Christina has mentioned above, those who wish to rebut will be given equal time to do so. I look forward to your responses.


    Sean Gill

  14. From a student's perspective who is not close friends with any of the SGO members but still has to interact with them. | May 8, 2012 at 1:14 am | Reply

    To be honest, I find many of the SGO members to be immature and narrow minded. Only one or two have my support. One of which was Sumpter. I find him to be a kind and genuine person and I feel that McGrath had the wrong impression of him. Certainly, he could be more assertive, but he’s better than most of the other candidates which I find are out of touch with the student body. I also HATE the fact that candidates use the excuse that they are running for SGO because to improve themselves. I do not care. I want to know what you will be doing for my college. Herp. Derp. Last year one candidate said running would look good on college applications. *Face palm* That makes them sound self centered. I want to see the SGO drum up more participation on campus and be more visible. Although I disagree with McGrath, I do agree that I want a candidate that was elected in because of their leadership skills and because they plan doing some good changes. Alas, many of these candidates will be voted in by their friends and no one on campus will notice because nobody cares. On a candid note, everyone should get their panties out of a bunch. This was only an article from another perspective.

  15. Third Party Outsider | May 8, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Reply

    Personally, I wouldn’t say Joan is wrong for publishing an article of her own opinion. She’s merely recounting what she herself observed. It’s an opinion article and she has the right to freedom of speech. I know some of the members of SGO and some of the things that Joan said, I disagree with but that doesn’t mean I hate her for giving her opinion. And, if the SGO was really offended, well then think about what she said and try not to come off as she stated. You’re never going to please everyone but you need to understand that that’s ok. The reason we have an SGO is to help the student body. If most students disagree with Joan, then they do. If they don’t, then they don’t. I don’t really agree with her but she has a right to an opinion just like me and the rest of you. It’s just a perspective and the people running shouldn’t run away from it or get angry. They should just take it and move on. Fighting back with aggression is only going to show other students that you can’t keep your cool. And I assure you, they don’t want that. Not to say that you can’t stand up for yourself but going all out in anger really isn’t going to help the situation. So to Joan, I think your immediate impressions of them may have been clouded by your own personal opinions because they really are all great people and they has potential to be great leaders, however it is your opinion piece and you have the right to say what you want. To the SGO and other commentators, she’s just doing her job. Her job is to report what she saw through HER eyes. That’s what she did. Try to better prepare yourself for people like this and maybe it won’t happen again. I think a lot of you are good at what you do and don’t get discouraged but overreacting isn’t helping either.

  16. One who cares and is involved, just not will SGO | May 8, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Reply

    Hello all,

    I was not at the meeting and I have not had the pleasure of viewing the video. However, I feel that the manner of this forum has left professionalism out the door. Granted this is an anonymous forum for the most part and people tend to be more honest or hateful. I do not agree with everything that McGrath stated in her article, but I’m mostly unnerved with the responses that our student body government/students posted. It is my hope that the future student body government will be able to take criticism and retort maturely. No matter where in life others will criticize you and it is your duty to analyze what is said and utilize it for improvement. If what is said factually incorrect find the facts and point them in that direction, but use a little tact.

  17. Joan McGrath | May 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm | Reply

    First, let me state that any discussion generated by an opinion piece is a start in the right direction. Most of the comments have their own valid points and I hope more people read them before they vote. Best of all would be if students who have not been involved in SGO express their opinion! When you re-read the article, you’ll find that it begins and ends with commentary on the lack of student involvement in SGO.

    Second, I would also ask that when you re-read the article, you recognize that I have not attacked anyone personally. I made observations about what the candidates said and did, and I expressed my interpretation of what that meant for the leadership of SGO. I used no derogative, personally-directed adjectives and I backed up what I thought with the reasons why I thought that way. I made observations that were both negative and positive. It is correct that I do not know these people; none of them have been in any of my classes and none of them have ever spoken to me. Did you expect that only the friends of the candidates would attend, or that only those that know them well should be allowed to have an opinion about their candidacy? A public forum, an on-the-spot question and answer session, is like a final exam for a political candidate and the grades are given by those that watch and listen to that on-the-spot response.

    “Someone who knows” and Brittany Hill both mentioned that these candidates have served on SGO and brought fresh ideas and concepts to SGO. That’s great to hear, but outside of this forum or the SGO meetings, how would any other student know that? Perhaps if their platforms had expressed specifically how they had brought that impact to SGO, there would be more of us who know. When I wrote, “It seems to be all about them”, the them was a pronoun that referred back to the candidates and their written platforms. The platforms, if you read them, say nothing about what fresh ideas or concepts they have brought, or could bring, to SGO; they only address what the candidates will get out of being on SGO. Experiences which I wrote were good experiences to take from college, but not a platform on which other students should base their votes.

    I thank you, Ben Cook, Anna Cook, Mandi Wilson and Brittany Hill, for having the strength of character to say what you think and to identify yourself. I disagree with Ben that SGO doesn’t depend on being a good public speaker, or that this skill is not necessary for our leaders. In this time when so much exposure is given to any candidate, public speaking is a skill that candidates seek, refine, and which defines how well that candidate connects with the voters. Every one of the candidates could use this course — as could almost any student who wants to present themself in a positive, professional, capable manner. I don’t know about George Washington, I wasn’t there to hear him. In his day, he had very little public exposure, only intense, small group, elite professional group interaction. Yes, it is sometimes necessary to ask for something to be repeated. And yes, Mr. Cook, I did serve on debate teams both in high school and in college. I was taught that a winning debater listens so intently to the questions that they do not have to be repeated, but they may need to be clarified before one constructs an answer. I urge you to go back to the video and listen to how many times reiteration was asked for; it is the frequency of that request that leads me to wonder about the ability to focus within a multi-input environment. Mr. Cook says it’s wrong to judge a book by it’s cover. Actually, I think this cliche does not hold up in real life, and not in the the instant information age. People do judge a book quickly. They often pick up a book and look at the cover or the quick summary and make a decision about buying it. That’s what this forum was, a quick way to consider each candidate and make a decision. Publishers know the impact that cover and description have on the buyer; didn’t these candidates know this was their time to convince us to vote for them, to buy them?

    Mr. Cook also claims the student body is 75% under the age of 21 and 25% are the older students. If you look at the College Statistics posted on the College website, these percentages do not bear up. For the school year 2008-2009, 44% were under age 20 and 56% were older than 20. A breakdown more specific than that, or for a more recent school year, is not given. Statistics are available for years 2007 through 2012 for what is called first time college students (in 2007 it was 25% and has declined steadily since then to 20% in 2012). Perhaps within this group the constituency is 75% under 21. I didn’t assume, Mr. Cook; I’ve been researching and looking at the makeup of the student body for two semesters now.

    Brittany Hill asks, why did I not “attack” her, since she wasn’t at the forum. The answer is, because you weren’t at the forum, there was nothing to be observed and no conclusions to be drawn. It would have been unfair to draw any conclusions, either positive or negative. Nor will I vote for anyone who wasn’t there, since I have nothing on which to base that vote.

    Again, I hope everyone re-reads the opinion piece. The most accusative attack I wrote was about how SGO needs to make itself visible and relevant to the students who have no interest or time for anything other than classes. It was about students who engage in no activities, make no impact on the college that is offering so much. They are missing out on developing themselves and their portfolio by these choices, and SGO could desperately use their input.

    • Someone who supports what the SGO has done for this school | May 9, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply

      I would like to know how you think there is a lack of student involvement since the SGO is completely made up of students……

  18. Commissar Joseph (Methos) | May 11, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply

    There are frustrations within the school about SGO, Student Life, and general Administration. When I was there that night I posed my question to see who actually knew what they were doing and needed to do. Senator Josh is the one, while trying to be a people person who did this. Yet this isn’t my quarrel, and I’m not bashing anybody here nor do I want to. Yet most frustrations is that there is a lack of care between students and the school. Sadly when there is a lack of anything coming from one way, there seems to cause a lot of miscommunications another way. Until, when no-one is really at fault, you end up with a discombobulated mess. In my personal opinion, I say everyone should focus on trying to help each other out, not for public face, but because we actually care. As a leader figure to some of the school, I will fully admit, I AM NOTHING WITHOUT MY PEOPLE. They choose to follow me, they choose to work with me, and that is why I am proud of them. However, that is just the Club of Carroll Community Gamers (which most people consider an evil communist dictatorship and obviously very Soviet with total intent to take over the college – I AM KIDDING), what is needed now is Carroll students who should get involved. Yet, looking at the college, this article is right, no-one is really stepping up to change things they don’t like and rather they would prefer to just complain and moan in their own little universe. Hence why I accept and encourage open criticism , not only of my own club members, but of all students. If nothing is done, nothing will change, and things will stay the same. With this upcoming year with tighter budgets, and the economy and politics outside of the college, we as a community college are going to hit a lot of problems. I think someone should help give notice, awareness, and rise to the students that they do have a voice, they want to be heard, and that time should be now instead of later. That way if things are solved and fix now future generations of students coming to this college can be better off, instead of this “decline” which everyone has been fussing about. I’m going to stop ranting now and start focusing on taking over the world with disco or something…

    “Our Greatest Glory is not in never falling, but rising every time we fall”

    Commissar Joseph (Methos) of the Club of Carroll Community Gamers

  19. Wish I was there | May 12, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply

    I really wish I had gone to see this! I had no idea that this meeting between the SGO candidates was even going on. Maybe every student should be sent an email. Also, info on the candidates should be emailed as well. I’m curious how anyone know that this event was going on. I also have no idea as to where to vote or when to vote. Could someone please fill me in and explain where they found this information. Thank you!

    • Commissar Joseph (Methos) | May 12, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply

      Log into your blackboard account. Then in the “my carroll” Section under “My Organization” There is a link to the Student Government Organization. Click that, which will bring you to their page. Top left there is a link for voting. However, the voting may be over I’m not sure.

    • Wish I was there:

      Kristie Crumley sent an e-mail to all students regarding the forum. Candidacy statements were posted on The-Quill as well. Elections results will appear here on Monday.

      Voting ended on the 10th.

      Thanks for your interest!

      Sean Gill

    • This is something that, should I be elected, I would like to change for next year. I noticed a lot of people had no idea how to vote, or what it is even about. It will be different for the fall elections (meaning it will be obvious what SGO does and where to vote). Thank you for your interest!

      Anna Cook– SGO Treasurer

  20. Only 5.4% of the student body even bothered to vote for SGO, so I’d say this piece hits the bullseye.

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