Rogers criticized for his 'about face' on the issue Former Undergraduate Assembly members are accusing UA Chairperson and College senior Lance Rogers of changing his stance based on his personal goals. Specifically, Rogers is being criticized for originally supporting the establishment of a United Minorities Council seat on University Council to further his own agenda. The UMC is currently waiting for Council's steering committee to decide whether the group should have a permanent seat. Rogers said he is not in support of the UMC seat at this point. "I do not believe the UMC should get a seat," he said. "If we give them a seat, we should give every student organization a seat." But this is not how Rogers saw the issue in the spring of 1994, when the issue was first brought before the UA. At that time, he voted to give the UMC a seat on Council. "When the vote came before the UA, the UMC had a seat on the [Council]," Rogers explained. "I didn't necessarily want to take that seat away from the UMC." Some former UA members say Rogers had a different rationale. College senior William Walton said Rogers voted in favor of a UMC seat because he wanted other members -- including Walton -- to vote in favor of a Council seat for the University's Ivy Council representative as well. Neither group had sufficient support to get its respective organization a seat. The Ivy Council is an organization made up of student leaders representing each school in the Ivy League. "[Rogers] and I agreed that we would mutually support each other's goals," Walton said. "I would cast my vote in favor of the Ivy Council representative on UC and he in turn would vote for the UMC to obtain a chair on UC." Rogers admitted that he made a deal with Walton, but he said he had been in support of the UMC seat anyway. "When [Walton] approached me?I had no reservations about doing so," he said. "To say it was a coalition or conspiracy would be making it more grandiose than it was." Both the Ivy Council and UMC gained enough UA support to gain Council seats. But the UMC seat came up for another vote at the spring 1994 Council meeting because the group's constitution only allows individuals elected by the student body to hold seats, and members of the UMC do not meet this requirement. At that meeting, Rogers voted against giving the UMC a seat. Walton pointed out that this "about-face" came after the Ivy Council had received its seat and said Rogers' actions were "wishy-washy." "This is the sort of situation which I think [former UA Chairperson and Wharton senior] Dan Debicella had in mind when Lance was elected to the chair of the UA and he was not necessarily pleased," Walton said. "He knew from years of previous experience that Lance was not the strongest of people when it came to making decisions and that he could be persuaded one way or another, depending on whether he had goals to further. "It looks to me like [Debicella] was right," Walton added. But Rogers said his change of heart occurred after he was made aware of the unconstitutionality of the issue. "After thinking about everything that went on two years ago, I realized that I was wrong in voting the way I did at the UA meeting," he said. "I changed my mind -- I think that is allowed. And I have stuck to that ever since." Former UA Vice Chairperson and College senior Tamara Dubowitz said she is not surprised that Rogers' stand on the issue has shifted. "Lance changes his mind often," she said. "[He] will probably continue to do so."Comments powered by Disqus
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