LETTERS

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August 19, 2013

Letter: Lessons learned from SG election disqualification

In response to "SG Candidate Disqualified, Slate Issued Penalties" (April 30).

Fellow students:

After a long silence and some careful thinking, I decided to write this short letter in response to the article published in the Maroon ("SG Candidate Disqualified, Slate Issued Penalties," April 30) describing my disqualification from the Student Government election because of a misunderstanding.

First of all, I want to offer my sincere apology for that misunderstanding. Second, I want to share my lessons with my fellow students: Good intentions do not always lead to good outcomes. I can assure you that my intention was good. Even to this date, I do not regret standing up when it seemed no one else was willing to. However, I was too naive, because I believed I could singlehandedly correct many of the biases that seemed apparent in the election process, but clearly that was not the case. At the time, all I wanted was to bring fairness and justice to the student body of the University of Chicago. It was my understanding that every party involved in the election process should follow the pre-established election rules and every candidate should have a fair chance to win the election. When I felt like the rules were not followed and when other people were not willing to stand up to fight against it, I did.

Serving as a College Council representative all throughout my first year, I knew what responsibilities I owed to my classmates. At the time, only one thing occupied my mind: correct the bias present within the election process and the ease with which student votes could be discounted. Although I am no longer able to sustain my responsibility to my fellow students, I am very pleased to report that my actions and possibly those of others have caused a difference: Student Government reform is currently underway. Although I regret the misunderstanding, I will never regret standing up for my beliefs and for what is right. It is my belief that the benefit (SG reform) will outweigh my personal sacrifice.

I want to conclude with a few lessons to share:

1. Always stand strong and believe in yourself, even in the face of those in power. Don’t ever let anyone make you think that who you are or what you did is wrong and disgusting. As long as you believe in the strengths of who you are, others can find no way of hurting you.

2. Be prepared to make sacrifices for the beliefs that you hold dear and for the people you love.

3. Don’t be afraid to speak up, but make sure that it is for something that you genuinely care about.

4. Friends and family mean the world and more.

5. Life can be unfair sometimes. It can completely knock us over, but it’s how we crawl back up that ultimately counts.

—Christina Dong

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