It ain't Watergate, people. CAA Prez Tee-Boz Pruitt is not Nixon minus the jowls. I haven't heard about a secret taping system in the Student Union. And a character named after a porn film has not yet been introduced into the melee. (Although an anonymous informant named John Holmes or "Debbie Does Dallas" would make things more interesting.) But the uproar on campus makes you wonder why The Washington Post hasn't picked up the story. Indeed, the allegations of conduct "unbefitting" have been made, some students within the CAA have been fired, and rumors of rigged ticket distribution have run rampant.
It certainly smacks of Machiavellian maneuvering. But is it true? Did Tee-Rex have handfuls of UNC basketball tickets at his fingertips? Were certain students given choice tickets or heads-up on key distribution numbers and times? Does Pruitt look fantastic in black pumps with a modest heel?
No one seems to know for sure.
Yes, hunches have been made, and The Daily Tar Heel sleuths have been searching for the truth. But so far, no one has been promoted to gumshoe.
Some individuals have come forward -- perhaps the most noteworthy is the character who had a crisis of conscience. The truth is out there, but no one has been able to find it.
Enter Student Congress.
The Kongress Klowns have decided to take time off from making important decisions (read: moratoriums on death penalties and bills for world peace) and turn their attentions to bad news on the home front.
Congress, complete with a "take-no-prisoners" mentality, has introduced two resolutions. The first censures the CAA leadership, charging that personal politics, not hygiene, have "eclipsed" the athletic concerns of UNC students. (Note: Don't confuse the first resolution with Bonnie Tyler's mega-hit "Total Eclipse of the Heart.")
The second charges Pruitt with conduct unbecoming an elected officer of the student body.
Now the Rules and Judiciary and Student Affairs committees have given the green light to a bill that would give Congress oversight of the CAA.
I'm glad Student Congress is taking a stance on possible improprieties within the CAA -- it's just that I'm not sure it's going to do a damn thing.
Item one: Rep. Anthony Larson has said, "The two censure resolutions are not official sanctions nor do they carry binding consequences. They are mere statements of disapproval for the way Tee Pruitt and the leadership of the CAA have represented the student body during their time in office."
Statements of disapproval aren't going to solve shit. Congress members might as well pass a resolution that says they disapprove of Tee's haircut.
Item two: The proposal for congressional oversight is all well and good, but I have doubts as to whether the help of Congress representatives will right all the wrongs within the CAA and restore confidence in the organization.
Everyone needs to recognize that anyone with any power on this campus gets a few perks. Those kids up in Suite C get tricked-out, primo parking places. Basketball players luck out with the best Granville rooms. Former student body presidents get jobs as the chancellor's lackey and might some day graduate to director for Greek affairs. The kids involved in CAA get extra tickets. But this is negligible in light of the lecture at hand -- student groups with any power will first abuse it and then screw it up. Check the track record. Student Congress ran out of money for student funds. The Honor Court found innocent people guilty. CAA gets those extra tickets -- they were due for an abuse of power.
My solution is for the administration to start looking over the shoulders of the CAA. They have already proved they can't be trusted. I'm not sure the intervention of more students is the answer.
Administrative head honchos, not Student Congress, need to ground the CAA and take away its phone privileges.
Columnist Ashley Stephenson can be reached at email@example.com.
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