With no questions or debate, the Student Activities Council voted overwhelmingly to re-recognize The Red and Blue last night, more than a year after SAC's rejection of the paper stirred campus-wide controversy. After SAC Vice Chairperson Greg Shufro presented SAC Steering Committee's recommendation that the paper be recognized last night, 75 SAC representatives voted for recognition, 10 voted against it and 21 representatives abstained. Last night was the paper's first success in four bids for re-recognition, and the second time it has come before the body with a positive steering recommendation. Before last night's vote, Red and Blue Editor-in-Chief Chris Matton delivered a one-minute speech, asking SAC representatives not to judge the conservative student publication on content. He emphasized that the paper had met all the requirements for SAC membership. Matton said the lack of debate signifies that students are no longer interested in debating over Red and Blue and that the decision gives the paper "legitimacy." "I think people have become tired of the whole issue, myself included," he said. Almost all the SAC representatives who voted last night were not on the body last spring. Shufro said last night that Red and Blue deserved the positive recommendation from steering, but added that he does not agree with the paper's content. "Though the ignorance of the publication and the editorial staff disgusts me personally, as a member of SAC steering, because they met the criteria for recognition, I had the responsibility to give them a positive recommendation," he said. "I am saddened to find such close-mindedness at an institution that promotes diversity." The newspaper, which lost recognition because it failed to register with the Office of Student Life in the fall of 1989, did not get a positive SAC Steering recommendation on its first attempt to be resanctioned because committee members said the editors had attacked other SAC groups in print, including the LGBA. In its October 1989 issue, Red and Blue labeled the LGBA as one of the four biggest "wastes of money" on campus and derided the group's name change to include bisexuals. Editors of the newspaper maintained that SAC Steering's recommendation was unfair because it violated the Open Expression Guidelines. Last April, the University's Open Expression Committee made a non-binding ruling that SAC violated Open Expression Guidelines when it denied the paper recognition, saying that SAC based the decision on the paper's content. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Alliance SAC representative Doreva Belfiore, who voted against re-recognition last night, said she was not surprised that the paper was re-recognized. "I don't think that the student body thinks that it is as big an issue on campus as the student body last year did," Belfiore said. Red and Blue Executive Editor Bob Mannino said that he was "pleasantly surprised " by the lack of debate at the meeting, adding that he thought last night's re-recognition was "finally a just outcome." Shufro said that he was puzzled that the SAC body voted without questioning the newspaper. "I was surprised that considering the controversy surrounding Red and Blue and the fact that they have a longstanding debt to SAC, that representatives would have so simply recognized a group which will have a say in SAC policies and allocations," the College senior said. The newspaper, which has published one issue so far this year, did not request SAC funding. They are currently being funded solely by alumni donations. In other business, SAC recognized the Circle K Club, which focuses on community service, the Bio-Chemistry Club, the Biological Basis of Behavior Club, the Black Pre-Health Society, Real Estate Club, Italian Society, and the Hong Kong Club. Staff writer Laura Santini contributed to this story. 'I don't think that the student body thinks that it is as big an issue on campus as the student body last year.' Doreva Belfiore SAC representativeComments powered by Disqus
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