When I first saw The Record story describing the Student Government equivalent of the Midnight Judges scandal (well, equivalent if President Adams had tried to appoint himself to Congress), I thought it had to be a mistake. Surely no HLS student could possibly fail to discern the two obvious lessons of the recent presidential election: (1) the student body wants transparency and change in Student Government and (2) the student body is sick of members of Student Government acting immaturely, as when the presidential candidates were hurling inane insults at each other.
Contrary to all common sense, however, a note on the amendment apparently added by its drafter(s) reads, “expire Commencement 2012?,” suggesting that the amendment might only apply in this particular year for these particular people. This amendment would overrule an amendment dating back an entire month mandating that terms end on April 1.
Let’s dispense quickly of the idea that the move is a Chavezian power grab. It’s far more puerile and obvious than that. At least Hugo Chavez had the decency to propose permanent changes to the Venezuelan constitution and manipulate an ostensibly democratic referendum to enact those changes. This modification of the Student Government constitution would be a one-off bit of chicanery, a bitter and blatant attempt to put one past the pococurante electorate.
The very idea reeks of entitlement and disrespect for the electoral will of the student body. Indeed, HLS Student Government has slipped the surly bonds of reason and reached the stratospheric incompetence of an even pettier version of Chavezian dictatorship. At this rate of descent into stupidity, we’re mere days away from the Student Government KGB airbrushing Daniel Vargas from Student Government photographs and 1L Section Representatives being called upon to inform on their comrades’ dalliances with Gelfandism.
I was very glad to hear that the amendments were voted down last night following the organization of a Facebook movement by the Gelfand campaign to bring attendees to the meeting to protest the measures. Then maybe we can put this absurd chapter of HLS history behind us and the next class can start rebuilding after the destructive electoral and constitutional shenanigans that constituted the true Parody of 2012.
John Thorlin is a 3L. His column runs Thursdays.
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