A Letter to Sean McGrady

A letter to Sean McGrady,

                I greatly appreciate your tribute to the exposure of the unorganized and undoubtedly dumb founded SGA. Students need to know the truth and you are the Tom Brokaw of NRCC. Corruption is always a wonderful disease to exploit. It is actually you, not the SGA, which has inspired me to become involved in the activities of the student body. I am more influenced than ever to exploit the cluelessness of the monkeys of SGA.  Thanks again for your great journalism!

                                                                                                                                                Signed,

                                                                                                                                              Paul Pinnacle

About Sean McGrady

A fourth semeseter student in NRCC, Sean McGrady is more famously referred to as White-E or "That Guy with the Hair." That Guy with the Hair enjoys reading, writing, discussion and celebrating the invention of underwear.
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18 Responses to A Letter to Sean McGrady

  1. Ben Kramer says:

    Dear Sean, and those additional nameless individuals who would accuse and hide,

    The SGA is not a corrupt organization. I would be happy to address the issue personally with any individual who believes it is corrupt. I would ask for their proof. Making fun of SGA members is in bad taste, in my opinion, and does no good. In fact, you hurt the feelings of these students who rose to the occasion of leadership and responsibilty when the election was announced. I implore the Knight Rider to remove the cartoon parody of SGA members, out of respect for these students and what harm it may cause them. In this day in age, this is the fodder which instigates school violence. Shame on those who feel it is comedy. I know this paper can show better taste.

    I would also ask them to compare their work with other SGA organizations throughout the VCCS. Bear in mind that (at.75/credit hour) student activity fees for NRCC are less than the fees students pay at WCC, VWCC, and most other VCCS institutions. Our activities fee ranks as one of the lowest in the state, yet it completely funds all our events, sports, the SGA, most club trips and activities, the student handbook, the ID system, and other expenses and projects. I could list them all for you. In addition, I would like for you to compare what we have done in student activities at NRCC versus the work accomplished by other activities offices in the state.

    I am very proud of the work of this SGA, and I believe we all have the student’s best interests at heart. Yes, we have problmes at times, but we do our best to correct them. I am saddened by the bad press for the SGA, and would like to see positive articles about what our students and organizations are accomplishing shared with the public. We have much to be proud of at NRCC. If we have problems we work on them personally and privately, with the diginity of all at stake kept in mind.

    Gratefully,
    Ben Kramer,
    Activities Counselor
    bkramer@nr.edu 540-674-3600, ext. 4431

  2. Justin Wood says:

    While yes someone could argue on the position of taste, I am offended by Mr. Kramer’s accusations. He appears to paint the members of the SGA as innocent victims of some kind of spontanious smear campaign. Firstly they set themselves up to be closely watched the moment they decided to take a position of (admittedly dubious) power; they decided to stand in the limelight. Joey Sclafani was demoted in the SGA because he ran a campaign of not doing anything, and fought other better intentioned canditates to win; this isn’t information pulled out of my @#$ but a statement made by a fellow SGA member. He may no longer be president, but still senator? This is outrageous! You wouldn’t keep a member of any real office in this fashion, why should we treat our student government any differant? So I ask you: why does Mr. Sclafani deserve to dodge a crictics bullets when he worked oh so hard to stand in front of the gun? Political cartoons aren’t made to be fair, they’re written to say what others won’t. I am also ashamed by the removal of my and Mister Kotz’s cartoon from the Knight Rider. Is this how critisim of the current establishment is met? With censorship? I wouldn’t have had any problem if the Knight Rider hadn’t already decided to post my admittedly inflammatory cartoon; it was incendiary and this paper has already proven in the past (edited by may I add members of the current ineffectual student government) that it doesn’t like dealing with tough matters. But to post it and then cowardly removing it to prevent ‘bad feelings’? Shame on you; and god bless Sean McGrady, Joe Rodgers, and anybody else who stands up to this limp wristed collections of fools and facists. These men are the true ‘young leaders’ or whatever silly @#$% your trying to pass this puppet government off as; they stand up where no body else gives a damn. I regretfully inform you that my artwork will no longer be submitted to this rag, nor will I read it. It’s a front, and a transparent one at best and not worth my time that is better spent practicing for tests and watching reruns of ‘Superfreinds’ on Cartoon Network.

    For years you people have wanted people to pay a little more attention to the Student Government community; well you got your wish. Your looking at it.

    Goodbye all,
    JW

    (p.s. Don’t bother e-mailing me your response, I’m labeling any further documents from the college as junk mail.)

  3. melissa says:

    Oh I just wanted to let everyone know that Tom Brokow was fired from his job duties due to jumping the gun in the Bush, Kerry Election, and Reporting the wrong President.:)
    Thanks,
    SGA President Melissa Kittinger-Surratt

  4. melissa says:

    Dear Night Rider Student News Paper,
    I as the active President wanted to set a few things straight for the record. I have noticed that so many people believe that they have a clear concept of the Student Government Constitution, however when they use it as a reference they are just using half truths as they have so many times before with their nonsense articles. What I have decided to do is speak on behalf of the SGA, and state for the record that in our constitution nowhere does it state for any of the Executive Branch or the Legislative Branch job details does it say that a member of the SGA must complete one project. I find this very insulting that the people behind these articles think that our jobs are summed up in one act of kindness. Direct quote from our Advisor Ben Kramer, “I request that my SGA completes one project a semester as well as their duties wither their in Executive Branch or Legislative Branch, and I do this to keep up with the participation of each individual SGA member”. I know the good that comes from the SGA, and the many lives that we have touched, and for those who have not experienced the SGA’S fine work, or have and just are to afraid to admit it. There will be great changes in store for the NRCC student body, and many of them are just around the corner.
    Melissa Kittinger-Surratt

  5. Jenny says:

    Dear Melissa,

    By “they,” I assume you mean “Sean.” Sean never claimed the project idea as part of the Constitution. When he talks about the SGA confusing required actions as long-term work (aka projects), he’s referring to the SGA not understanding the importance of treating what is required as it should be treated: something that MUST be done. While he never made the claim that a project is demanded by the constitution, I think his point, that each SGA should do their duties especially if they’re going to be paid, is valid. He’s also saying, basically, that if you want to have any logical integrity in earning money, you must do something actually akin to a government. That would be the project phenomenon. It’s delegated by Ben Kramer too, like mentioned in the bylaws, so if he requests participation, it’s required.

    And as far as how well he interpreted your Constitution? I think Sean should do it FOR you.

    Hey, assuming they don’t do projects, the SGA still doesn’t act as a “channel of communication,” along with other things directly listed as Constitutional. At least, there’s no persistent effort towards connecting with students. 15-30 students from the lounge each week? That sucks. Hardcore. And that isn’t a broad enough category of opinions. Why don’t you branch throughout the school? You need to focus on advertising well and interviewing, too. By focus, I mean do. Do it. As in initiate the duty (duty not being project but required) and finish it, whether it proves possible or not.

    And stop calling Sean’s opinions “half-truths.” He has, especially in his last opinion article, provided logic. What do you do? Insult. Try to debase. Use lots of text within a degrading comment (more degrading to yourself, I think) without saying anything.

    I’m trying really hard to find a mature SGA comment. One that doesn’t end on a snobbish message or have little weight or both. I really want to believe the SGA is overall good. But I just don’t see it.

  6. Meagan says:

    To all those who care.
    We in the SGA are really trying to do our jobs as the Student Government. I know that every week I am doing something, volunteering at an activity for instance as well as my normal duties: taking notes for the meetings and doing anything else the Secretary is needed for. We strive to be available at all times for a student to come and present concerns to us. This means our office is not only for looks but it serves a purpose too. We ask any one who is dissatisfied with our service: What else do yo want us to do? Please tell us!! We are here for your suggestions and we need them. So far all the people who have been complaining have brought nothing too the table which is different from what is already in production. If you would like to bring your suggestions to a public forum There will be a “Press Conference” to be held tomorrow (March 24th) in the Martin Student Lounge. We hope to see you all there!

    Meagan Willis
    Secretary of the SGA

  7. Joe Rogers says:

    Well, folks, I’ll admit it. I wasn’t even going to get involved until I saw Miss Melissa’s comment. Madam, I feel you are out of line. You have BEEN out of line ever since you accosted Sean McGrady and basically assaulted him. For YOU not to have been disciplined for this is an outrage. Before anything further is said, I’ve spoken to multiple students and faculty members who either saw, or know details about this particular incident, and they all feel the same.

    Now, let’s dissect your comment from above. You stated that nowhere in the School Constitution does it say that an SGA Member HAS to complete a project…so are you saying that it is acceptable for those who maintain this position of authority to be lazy? They are not required to maintain contact with the student body, and listen to find out what students need from the college? Wait, I thought it was the STUDENT gov’t Association…is it not? Clearly stated or not, Miss Melissa, you and every other member of the SGA have certain obligations to the students and yourselves. Deal with it.

    Lastly, Mr. Kramer, I feel that you are trying to do an admirable thing by overseeing the SGA, but that you do not understand certain things. Most members of the SGA are young, between 18 and 22, correct? It is your responsibility to teach these young people who are showing a burgeoning interest in gov’t and how it works the ethics and responsibilities that come with positions of power. That’s largely what is wrong with the country today, in my personal opinion. Too many people able to get away with too much because of the de-regulation that occurred in the ’80′s.

    You have a responsibility, sir, to call down those in the SGA who would try to intimidate members of the press. You have a responsibility, sir, to call down those who would take advantage of the trappings of power, and twist the election process for their own ends.

    Can you dig it?

  8. Ben says:

    I do indeed “dig” what you are saying.

    You raise an excellent point. No amount of bullying should not be tolerated at NRCC. I too have been called a “bully” by asking the comic to be pulled recently. I apologize for that now. At the time, I felt it was important for the safety of the college community. Please know that if I perceive a danger to the college, I will act to minimize the risk of that danger. I was supported by others related to the paper who listened to my case about why the comic was a threat to those who drew it, and those for whom it was drawn about. However, since the comic was pulled, I discussed it with, and saw the position of those who disagreed with my decision. I learned a lesson on rights and responsibility because of this, and will be more sensitive to the balance in the future. It is very important that students have the ability to express themselves in the Knight Rider.

    No incident report was filed with me about the incident you claim in your last post -within 7 days of it’s occurrence. The disciplinary procedures are listed in the student handbook. See me if you have difficulty finding it or understanding it. If it were filed, I would have investigated the matter, as it is my duty. Because of my work with both sides of this possible altercation, I did speak with some of the students about the matter, and was not convinced as to any actual harm caused. That doesn’t mean it either “did” or “didn’t” happen, or that it wasn’t important. It also doesn’t mean the people involved weren’t important, either. They are. Assault is a serious offense at NRCC. Both sides have a story, and both sides have rights. I hope that both sides would share their full story with me. Both sides are, at this time speaking with one another cordially to some degree.

    Your other point is also excellent. The elections were held online in September and February, and I have heard of incidents where then-candidates of the SGA possibly influenced votes by winessing students vote as they helped them enter the online ballot. Recognizing this possibility, I created a rule for candidates in February that limits them from doing this “guiding”, but I am unable to follow all of the candidates around for the two days of the election. Suggestions for proper campaigning are welcomed to improve this process. Should we go back to paper ballots that i can secure in a balot box and watch for most of each day personally? Laptops are carried by many students all over campus. How can I stop them from helping acquaintances to vote online and then “watching them vote for themselves”? The vote of the students was respected as it was received. I HAD to treat it that way. I believe the students who voted in the elections this year voted the way they wanted to vote. To say they were influenced otherwise is to disrespect the opinion and capability of the student body, am I right?

    The SGA is receiving an education about the first amendment and free speech; along with ways to respond to criticism properly, and work with media properly. The Knight Rider staff too, is receiving an education in ethics and proper journalism methods. This year has been a time for all of us to learn and improve. I am very proud of you, the SGA, the Knight Rider staff, and the student body for ALL you have accomplished this year. Joe, thank you for sharing your point with us, and for allowing me to share my response.

    Humbly yours,
    Ben Kramer
    Activities Counselor

  9. Ben says:

    Oops. I messed up in my post…

    “No amount of bullying should not be tolerated at NRCC.” is wrong.

    I meant to say…”No amount of bullying should be tolerated at NRCC”.

    Thanks for allowing me to correct that.

    Ben Kramer

  10. Joe Rogers says:

    Are you serious? There’s a 7 day statute of limitations? Ok…here it is. Rules are rules, and they must be followed. I get that. But just because it’s on paper, doesn’t make it right. Right and Wrong, Good and Evil, and the definitions thereof are things that I think about constantly. The ethics, or better yet, the lack of them that exist today are atrocious.

    Ok, so no grievances were filed within 7 days. I’m not sure that’s gonna leave a good taste in my mouth. I’ve been filing greivances about the Bush Administration, and the war crimes committed during his time in office. Torture, not the least of which, too. Nobody’s listening, but it’s still wrong. What he did goes against the very grain of America, and everything it stands for. What I have heard about the SGA is akin to this..only on a smaller scale. Teach them to manipulate the rules now, and they’ll only get better at it later in life.

    This deserves the Hammer of God to come down on something…only hope I can duck when it hits.

  11. Jenny says:

    Ben- “To say they were influenced otherwise is to disrespect the opinion and capability of the student body, am I right?”

    No. In fact, I’m happier knowing that people question the validity of votes. Ben, you could remove a lot of controversy by having the SGA follow its own constitution. The duty of the senators, mentioned in Article IVB tells the legislative branch “to supervise all SGA elections.” Current senators need to supervise candidates. That would be AWESOME. To follow the constitution, I mean. Even then, it sounds awfully open to corruption, but it’s better than nothing.

    Megan- “So far all the people who have been complaining have brought nothing too the table which is different from what is already in production.”

    Judging from the SGA’s actions, a lot of your changes are based around Sean’s criticisms. Sean has been doing the SGA somewhat of a service, especially with his last opinion article. Seriously, you should read that article. If you can, I mean. Judging from several SGA posts, I wonder how well you can read/write.

  12. Joe Rogers says:

    “That would be AWESOME. To follow the constitution, I mean. Even then, it sounds awfully open to corruption, but it’s better than nothing.”

    Oh, dearie me, Miss Jenny. You have a rather barbed wittiness, I do believe…was that a jab at something more than simple SGA matters? If so, I’m quite impressed!

    I also appreciate your statement on the validity of votes. Again, it seems to mirror current day problems all too much.

  13. Joe Rogers says:

    Folks, your lack of a response speaks volumes…

  14. Meagan says:

    Jenny,
    I am sorry that I left all that Sean has suggested out of my one and only post. Sean has suggested some great things. We appreciated his comments and have followed through with many of his ideas. The idea to place the information board in the lounge to tell the students what we have been doing was one of his ideas! However we have received no input from any other sources! What would you like us to do Jenny? How can we make your experience here at New River better? I am not trying to be facetious at all. I am earnestly seeking your suggestions! Joe what would you like us to do? Please tell us! I only mention the two of you because you seem to have the loudest voices. ALL comments are welcome!

    As for my writing: I know that I am not the greatest writer in the world. My spelling is atrocious and spell check is my best friend. It is for this reason I have others check my work. My article which was published in the Knight Rider was changed and some parts were completely omitted so how can it give a true portrayal of my writing? As for reading I was raised and schooled by my mother who is a lover of literature and has passed that love of reading on to her four children. I have read a lot! You should not make personal accusations when you do not know me.

  15. Jenny says:

    Meagan,

    “I am sorry that I left all that Sean has suggested out of my one and only post. Sean has suggested some great things.”

    He sure has.

    “We appreciated his comments and have followed through with many of his ideas.”

    But this is silly. Followed through? Sure. Appreciated? lol.

    “As for my writing: I know that I am not the greatest writer in the world. My spelling is atrocious and spell check is my best friend. It is for this reason I have others check my work.”

    I recommend getting someone from the Knight Rider to help you. Particularly an editor. They’re qualified, from the looks of it.

    “My article which was published in the Knight Rider was changed and some parts were completely omitted so how can it give a true portrayal of my writing?”

    While editors have free reign to edit your article, they can’t change the main idea. They can only help it along. If you have trouble writing (You have just admitted this: good writers are never bad spellers. A’s and B’s mean little in the world of writing, too.) then you should be thankful for the editors. They probably made your idea more acceptable, less offensive, or both– as well as simple proof reading. In my opinion, they should have edited your article further.

    “As for reading I was raised and schooled by my mother who is a lover of literature and has passed that love of reading on to her four children. I have read a lot! You should not make personal accusations when you do not know me.”

    Cool. I never questioned the quantity or quality of what you read. I questioned your ability to analyze and express; read and write. You’re only validating my right to ask that question.

    You want suggestions? Here they are.

    Concerning you:

    1. Obey the constitution to the letter.
    2. Get someone to interpret that document for you and write ideas for amendments. (I recommend Sean. I like his last opinion article concerning your constitution.) Your current constitution needs updating.
    3. Get something/someone objective to decide whether the SGA fulfills the requirements for tuition reimbursement. (These people would need to be students disconnected from the SGA.)
    4. Some of the SGA members need to adjust projects (you included). Refer to Sean’s opinion article. Or ask him. Or me.

    Concerning us:

    Fixing water fountains in Godbey would be lovely.

    Finding some way to reduce vending prices in the main campus to quarter numbers (1.25 vs 1.35, 1.50 vs 1.65). Just addressing those prices in the lounge would be sweet, and possible if you exploit students with food sales or tap into tuition reimbursement. I doubt you can reduce the food vending prices, though.

    This place is really dull. Fall semester we had a lot more to do. Invent some cool stuff to do. Something interactive. Costume contests, especially for St. Patrick’s day, are by themselves unsatisfactory. Something interactive like a Rock Band competition for the gamers, or local bands (several bands would play just for publicity, or a short amount of cash) for music whores. Sound issues for local bands may or may not be a problem, not sure how that would work, but I’m sure you could find something akin to a sound barrier. Or keep it from erupting into a mosh pit noise fest.

    I remember free hugs. I do not want to remember free hugs. How about an art show to showcase NRCC’s talent? Fine arts and/or a talent show. Or a show with funny skits? We could REALLY use some humor.

    Yeah, stuff like that would be cool. You don’t always need to build a pipeline from Alaska to the Continental US. You only need to do something which benefits students and requires substantial effort.

  16. Joe Rogers says:

    Meagan,

    Ok, you’ve struck me as sincere. I’ll tell you the same thing I’ve told everyone else that asks:

    1. Send around a questionnare to teachers to be filled out. There also needs to be a questionnare that they give to each of their classes, EVERY SEMESTER.

    2. There also needs to be 15 mins set aside at the beginning of each class for the teacher to talk to the students a bit about the SGA, and what it’s role is.

    Start here. Forget the “Little White Board”. I’m at the Mall site, and it does me no good. Any further questions will be answered to the best of my ability.

    Joseph L. Rogers

  17. Meagan says:

    Thankyou for your responses. Many of these things are being worked on! We will work on the rest. However due to the recent budget cuts some things will be impossible to acomplish however we will try our best.
    Meagan
    Secretary of the SGA

  18. Joe Rogers says:

    I’m not sure how budget cuts will affect your ability to create a questionnaire, and make copies to send around. Make it an electronic thing, and set aside time for students to take it after their teacher has spoken about the SGA.