A response to stereotypical accusations made at candidate forum

The race for student body president has become a critical and important choice facing all students of this university, particularly with the recent changes and ambitious plans in place regarding the future of our campus.

This is why it is paramount that we as a student body collectively choose the most passionate and qualified individual to lead us through what will prove to be a changing and growing campus.

For this reason I wish to address certain statements made by the Scotty Stutts-Ryan Mosley campaign in their address during Tuesday night’s Student Government Presidential Debate.

Many issues were discussed, one of which being the proposed alcohol policy changes. In response to a question about how the Stutts-Mosley administration would respond to a student who does not consume alcohol if there was a change in the policy, they responded by saying they could not force any individual student to consume alcohol unless he were a pledge of a fraternity.

As a member of a fraternity and president of the Interfraternity Council it is my opinion that general statements like this are misinformed and not indicative of the spirit of Greek life at the University of Kentucky. Long gone are the days of “Animal House,” and stereotypical comments like this perpetuate this image that we work long and hard on a daily basis to overcome.

In reality, the fraternities and sororities of this university are value-based philanthropic organizations whose purpose is to build productive men and women of character that will impact our community in a positive manner and exemplify core values of leadership and service. Our organizations provide tangible, positive services that impact lives of people across campus and the community.

Fraternities and sororities make up 18 percent of the student body population and contribute thousands of hours of community service work to organizations all over the Lexington area.

Fraternities and sororities played a large role in DanceBlue, which raised over $1.1 million dollars for the Pediatric Oncology Clinic, and this month our Greek community came together and raised over $138,000 for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Sure, our organizations make mistakes at times, but promoting harmful and degrading language is not a campaign platform that promotes a respectful presidential race.

Misguided statements about alcohol abuse among the Greek community is not only harmful; it demonstrates just how out of touch the Stutts-Mosley campaign is regarding the student body as a whole.

Writing off 18 percent of the student body support with an attempted joke is disrespectful and does not promote the leadership qualities this university needs in a president. It is in the best interest of this university that we all come together and elect the right candidates that will respect all student organizations and show that they have the leadership qualities to guide us through positive changes to our campus.

Please make an informed decision this election and join me in voting for candidates Roshan Palli and Jake Ingram. Thank you.

Michael Gant is president of the Interfraternity Council.