Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

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Absolutely not.

Despite its reputation as a liberal campus, the University of Wisconsin has finally found one individual so infatuated with the dated theories of Socialism that he cannot be taken seriously. His political track record is one of treating students like children, encouraging wasteful segregated fee spending and countless bizarre media tactics. When unable to defend his own regressive, counter-productive positions, he resorts to word-games, and when on the offensive, he has been known to liken authority figures to excrement. In short, he represents the sort of gaucherie that is the very nadir of UW student leadership.
And he wants your vote.

This board was deeply disturbed to learn that Ashok Kumar is now seeking public office, having declared himself a candidate for the Dane County Board of Supervisors. Frankly, we can think of few people who would be worse representatives of the student body.

Last February, Mr. Kumar and a few of his colleagues made their way into the office of Chancellor John Wiley, where they requested that the university send letters home to the parents of students, encouraging them to contact their legislators and lobby against a potential tuition hike. The message was clear: UW students do not have the capacity themselves to lobby, so, for the serious stuff, mommy and daddy need to get involved. Never mind the legions of students who pay their own tuition or the entire concept of college as the first step away from home and into the real world.

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The irony is astounding. The very students he once deemed incapable of political participation are the ones whose votes he will now be courting.

Fast forward to April, when the Student Services Finance Committee considered a resolution to curb the salaries of student leaders being paid by segregated fees to a maximum of $1,000. The idea of curbing the student tax’s habit of serving as a mechanism for redistribution of wealth was one that SSFC should have passed — if an organization is reliant on segregated fees, students should not be getting rich off of it. But Mr. Kumar spoke out against this proposal. He apparently didn’t think that saving students a hefty chunk of change was such a good idea after all.

Earlier this semester, Mr. Kumar worked with his Student Labor Action Coalition peers to place a referendum on the campus ballot that would prohibit groups not paying employees a "livable" wage from having their budgets considered by SSFC. The proposal, he insisted, would help all UW employees earn more than the minimum wage. But some poor research on the part of Mr. Kumar and his associates meant that the resolution, when passed, had a slightly different effect: it cut student oversight of certain finances altogether. When confronted with this disastrous mistake, they cut and ran, doing everything they could to shift the blame to ASM.

Most recently, Mr. Kumar and his SLAC buddies created the infamous John D. Wiley Facebook profile, as a means of protesting UW labor rights stances. Ignoring all hints of civil debate, the site proved a veritable hoax that only soiled the group’s already-shoddy reputation. And when it came time to write on the site’s wall, Mr. Kumar was the first to turn childish, electing to scribe "U smell like poo."

Ahh, yes, discourse at its finest.

In short, Mr. Kumar has become an embarrassment to the entire student body. And yet, apparently naíve to this reality, he now has the nerve to ask the campus community to tap him as its elected representative.
This cannot be allowed to happen. There is simply no room on the Dane County Board of Supervisors for someone like Mr. Kumar.
And so we encourage everyone on this campus to take a few moments, look around, and put some thought into which of your friends might do the best in public office. Ambition, sensibility and a dab of political experience are really the only criteria, though we’d be willing to settle for two of the three given the alternative of Mr. Kumar. And please, do all that you can to draft this person into the election.

Voters need a choice in this election. Electing Mr. Kumar simply isn’t an option.

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