LETTER TO THE EDITOR

To the Wellesley News Staff,

I was concerned to read your editorial in this past week’s issue. While I wholeheartedly agree that campaign week frequently suffers from an excess of grand promises, I am dissatisfied with the way in which the Wellesley News Staff has articulated these concerns. First, this article erroneously states that this year’s Cabinet members “stated during campaign week last year that if elected, they would pursue campus discussion on mental health.” While mental health was certainly a part of some candidates’ platforms, asserting that all cabinet members made this campaign promise is simply incorrect. Cabinet is not a monolith. In order to hold Cabinet members accountable, the student body needs to have accurate knowledge of cabinet members’ roles and their respective campaign promises.

More importantly, however, I would urge the News Staff to consider the potential negative implications of choosing this particular forum for articulating their messages of accountability. While I realize that it is common policy for Wellesley NewsStaff editorials to go unsigned, it is difficult for Cabinet to engage meaningfully with criticism that is largely one-way and anonymous. Furthermore, the News’ criticism that current Cabinet’s accomplishments are “difficult to assess because of the ambiguous nature of the statements they made during campaign week a year ago” is itself ambiguous. Because these concerns are couched in imprecision and expressed through anonymity, Cabinet is left without a means to address them.

The eight other Cabinet members I serve with are passionate and tireless. We have worked incredibly hard to earn the trust and respect of the student body, and I would hope that this means we deserve the opportunity to participate in an informed two-way dialogue about accountability.  Please do not mistake my concerns for a bruised ego; I believe that the student body needs to hold Cabinet members accountable (and also that Cabinet members should hold themselves accountable). However, I believe that accountability comes not from anonymous, vague criticism but from direct engagement. I look forward to working with next year’s Cabinet to achieve that goal.

Best,

Beth Feldstein

College Government Cabinet ’13-’14

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