Letter to the Editor: Regents


Dear Editor, Thank you for your strong stance on open government in forcing the Board of Regents to allow The Collegian to cover the “public” sessions with the SDSU presidential candidates. This is a huge victory for those of us who have been trying to force open the doors of decision making for years. I am so proud of The Collegian!

The BOR’s defense of closed doors was laughable. First, “we’ve always done it this way” is an invalid argument. The fact that the BOR has selected university presidents this way for 35 years does not make it right.

Second, to say that “qualified candidates” might withdraw or not apply in the future is a weak argument. It may be true that otherwise-qualified candidates who don’t support open governance might drop out. However, a presidential candidate is simply not qualified if they continue the BOR’s tradition of closed-door decision-making.

Finally, I am mightily disappointed that other student leaders did not stand up to support you. I suppose they encouraged The Collegian to use “back door, round-about” ways to accomplish your objectives. Unfortunately, some student leaders espouse “the ends justify the means” philosophy which flies in the face of open, democratic processes.

It appears we are doing a poor job in educating some of these young people — our state’s future leaders — that the ethic of closed door politics is wrong. Simply following the letter of the law is insufficient. We need leaders — like your staff — who embrace the spirit of open government, because it is best for democracy.

Gary AguiarPolitical Science professor