August 7, 2020

YWC Dispute Continues in Congress

posted on: Thursday January 28, 2010

Jordan Frias ’11 / News Staff

Three main concerns were discussed at this week’s Student Congress meeting which took place on Tuesday, Jan. 26. One of the topics which caused the most debate was the removal of Providence College’s name under the chapters list on the Youth for Western Civilization’s national Web site.Although the club was voted down on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2009, those affiliated with it refused to contact the national organization to notify them of the verdict.Congress treasurer Nick Mikula ’11 said that Tim Dionisopoulos ‘11, the leader of the YWC group on campus, had until the end of the last week of exams of the fall semester to get the College’s name off the Web site but failed to do so. He also said that Sharon Hay, director of Student Activities, suggested that Congress do nothing to correct this as it would only give the group of students for YWC more attention.”I strongly believe that our name does not belong on that Web site,” Mikula said.Members of Congress then debated whether demanding that the students involved with YWC remove PC’s name from the Web site’s list of affiliated schools would fuel its members to conjure up more controversy or if it would emphasize Congress’s authority to speak on behalf of the student body.Sean Jones ’10 said that it would be in Congress’s best interest to fight for the removal of the school’s name. Megan Murphy ’11 disagreed. “I think it’s outside our line,” she said. When the question came up regarding whether or not Dionisopoulos and his members would feel attacked by the request to remove the school’s name, Congress president Andrea Pulaski ’10 clarified Congress’s intentions. She said Congress is proposing judicial action be taken against the national organization, not Dionisopoulos personally.Senior class president Jaimie Scambio urged Congress to stand up for its legitimacy in making final decisions on the status of proposed clubs like YWC. Peter Van Name ’11 thought otherwise. “It’s not Student Congress’s battle…we did what we had to do and now it’s time for PC as an institution to step up to the plate,” he said. Congress executive secretary Elian Seidel ’10 agreed with Scambio. “Do we think that the student body would want to see our name on their Web site? No. We owe it to them to bring it up to judicial,” Seidel said. Some Congress members were worried that further involvement might be mistaken as a failure of Congress to effectively vote down a proposed club. Some Congress members felt that students may think that its first piece of legislation against the club was not good enough, or that it is Congress’ duty to stand behind their decisions made in the interest of the student body. PC’s name on the YWC Web site means they did not accomplish that.The decision concerning whether or not Congress will move forward with the proposal to take judicial action against the organization will be made at next week’s meeting.Another issue that sparked debate was whether or not Congress needed an administrative liaison to overlook their weekly meetings. There was a consensus among members that communication can sometimes be an issue between Congress and the administration, but most agreed that a liaison would not necessarily mend that gap.A suggestion was made that if there were a liaison, they should be an appointed position rather than a permanent one. This would guarantee that the acting liaison would change periodically if necessary. “We have to make sure we have the right personnel,” said Megan Bennett ’10.An official liaison would be integrated into Congress discussions and would have the power to shoot ideas down, while an unofficial liaison would be a person of reference rather than a participant in discussions and voting.The administration receives a copy of the weekly minutes that are e-mailed to Congress members, giving them an insight on exactly what happens at each meeting.Lastly, Congress received an e-mail from PCTV asking if they could film Congress meetings to run on local channel 88.Many Congress members agree that this would give them good press and allow the student body to see the progress that they make at each meeting. Some suggested that it be uploaded to YouTube for viewer feedback and criticism. Congress will debate the issue on Monday, Feb. 1.

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