"Machine Issue Is Moral" Larry R. Hawkins The Crimson White March 27, 1961
If it is at all possible to elevate and abstract a principle from the political scene on campus this week without appearing ridiculously idealistic I would like to approach the problem on these terms:
The issue, it seems to me, has become quite clouded, an effect deliberately sought by one faction in the interest of self-preservation only. There has been a charge leveled against Jim Wilder that he is representing an anti-fraternity element on campus. Now it is most apparent to anyone at all close to campus life that this petty charge is nothing more than a cause around which "the group" hopes (and it has worked excellently well in the past to unite all fraternities and all sororities in the interest of getting out a block vote for their candidate for C-W editor. In other words, the members of the smaller (politically) fraternities and sororities are being used, maneuvered, by means of this false charge to support a candidate who, in reality, may not have what I sincerely hope to be their real interests at heart.
To my knowledge neither Jim Wilder nor the members of the C-W staff who published the facts last week wants to abolish fraternities on this campus. They both have the support of a number of fraternity members to prove it. It is a misinterpretation of the platforms and principles to conclude that the candidate who is against "the group", the oligarchy, the undemocratic few who rule the many, is against the social organizations to which they belong. This is the principle mentioned above which is the real one of the campaign. It is a high principle against which to fight on a university campus, a small Far Eastern country-side or the floor of the UN assembly in New York: Shall the few be allowed to rule the many?
I ask myself how the smaller fraternities, the sororities, the student body as a whole can let themselves be hoodwinked and led to the polls to "vote" for candidates, in all cases but one, unopposed who represent, obviously, an organization analogous to a Mafia? This is not only, against democratic principles but contrary to the very ideals of free men. With a bloc vote at his disposal the size of the sorority-fraternity complex, anyone can be--and frequently is--elected, regardless of qualifications, personality, ideals, et al. to the most important post of all, that wherein is the only check against the actions of the other officials in the SGA. IF a dictator can control the organs of communication on which the people rely he can control all they see and hear of his own actions.
As I intimated above and wish to repeat again, the issue in this election is a moral one, not one of small consequence to be taken as a personality animosity towards a social group which, however important their organizations may seem to them at this particular time of their lives, must give way, this once, to a universal principle affecting individual consciences.
It is with this in mind that I urge you as individuals, irrespective of your social affiliations, not to allow yourselves to be duped into mistaking the real issue, to choose the course your own mind must lead you to, and to place this once, at least, Equality before Fraternity.