I received many reactions from a letter to the editor I wrote two weeks ago about Duke Student Government, and specifically two direct messages: one from current DSG President Keizra Mecklai and executive vice president candidate John Turanchik.
The question still persists: where is the transparency?
This question is particularly scintillating as candidates for the position of president have already released their campaign platforms. A main platform point from two of the presidential candidates is an initiative to bring free Uber access to students.
John Guarco’s website reads: “One of my predominant goals this year was to establish a method of transportation for sick students who need a means of getting to the Student Health Center on West Campus if they live on East and Urgent Care. Senator Gerardo Parraga took the initiative this year to contact Uber and begin preliminary discussions to make this goal a reality.”
Tara Bansal’s website reads: “An initiative currently being explored is partnering with Uber and Lyft to provide access to Duke Student Health, Urgent Care, the Lemur Center, and locations downtown for students.”
These platforms are delivering two different messages. Guarco clearly stated to whom this project was credited toward. Tara does not credit this initiative to anyone. Did she work on it? Is she just supporting it?
Not only is this a question of integrity, but also it raises the stakes about DSG’s transparency.
If elections are not even advertised to the general student body, what stakes do we even have in being affiliated or indebted (literally indebted) to this organization?
When Keizra Mecklai messaged me last week, she said, “I understand your frustrations but I also think that there is a lot to be said about what DSG does do and Duke refuses to see!”
Duke, what do we refuse to see? Maybe the better question is this: how are we expected to see things DSG does if the candidates for presidency refuse to embody transparency.
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