"Time for the Machine to come out"
The Crimson White
February 27, 2006
On behalf of Capstone PAC, I would like to commend Mary Margaret Carroll for finally publicly acknowledging the Machine. We appreciate that it took courage to violate Theta Nu Epsilon's secrecy and announce an affiliation with "the Machine." We believe that openness is the key to honest politics and ethical leadership - otherwise, we would likely be an underground group ourselves.
But the revelation by Mary Margaret Carroll was nothing new. For years, various individuals have been acknowledging the existence of and membership with Theta Nu Epsilon - at one time, Machine members proudly wore T-shirts displaying their affiliation. It's a step, but a baby step. Now we would like to call for all Machine reps to follow Carroll's lead and go public. It's time for this madness to come to an end.
While we appreciate Carroll's honesty in speaking of her Machine ties, it is unfortunate that she later chose to defend the Machine. She justifies her colleagues as a "group of friends," but we don't buy it. Theta Nu Epsilon (the Machine) and its methods are segregationist to the core. Contrary to Carroll's statements, Theta Nu is indeed racist.
The Machine has never supported a single candidate of color and has bitterly opposed the advancement of minorities on campus at every step. When Cleo Thomas was elected as the Capstone's only black SGA president with the strong support of Kappa Kappa Gamma in 1976, a cross was burned in the sorority's lawn.
When Alpha Kappa Alpha, a historically black sorority, moved into its house on Magnolia Drive, a cross was burned in its front yard. When Minda Riley, a Phi Mu, attempted to run for SGA president without the Machine's approval, a cross was burned in her front yard.
No other group of friends we know resorts to terrorizing people when they don't get their way. No other group of friends coerces their fraternity brothers and sorority sisters into voting a certain way.
Even more unfortunately, Theta Nu claims to speak for the greek system, but this "group of friends" is not elected by greek houses. Machine "representatives" (a laughable term) are chosen by elder Machine reps, perpetuating their own agenda rather than allowing it to be changed by general opinion within the greek system. Dissent of any kind is considered treason.
Increasingly, Machine reps have begun to promote themselves to leadership positions within greek institutions and around campus, a practice previously avoided by Theta Nu Epsilon. It is no wonder that our university is so often disgraced when it comes to race relations; there is little room for progressive thought or enlightened self-interest within the Machine.
Our greek system is full of fine individuals who consider themselves people of class, but their "spokesmen" exhibit none of these characteristics. We believe the greek system ought to speak for itself in a civilized, democratic manner. That's why we would like to see the Machine come above ground. Our greek system deserves better, and our university deserves better.
The Capstone is moving into the national spotlight as a first-rate research and teaching institution, and we the students must move with it. We call for this "group of friends" to rise above ground. We call for the abolition of intimidation tactics and voter fraud. We ask that you stop the senseless fear and hatred that Theta Nu Epsilon promotes.
For the sake of our university, please join us in the 21st century.
Matt Dover, a junior majoring in political science, is chairman of Capstone PAC, a student political action committee.