Groya needs diplomacy for future success

Tony Cox

I’m often annoyed when I sit down to peruse the Daily Kent Stater, but the March 14 edition included a couple of pieces which I found to be especially perturbing. My space in this column is limited, so I’ll discuss one of these items today and save the other for next week.

The first item that I found troubling was the Daily Kent Stater editorial board’s gung-ho endorsement of Amy Groya for the Undergraduate Student Senate Governmental Affairs seat. Seeing as how Groya ran unopposed and nothing but a Chris Corbett-esque fall from grace could stop her, the board’s decision is understandable. But I fear its enthusiasm is misplaced.

The recent brouhaha concerning the Allocations Committee’s denial of funds for a program sponsored by The Dive, upon which I have commented ad nauseam, has placed Groya’s reasoning abilities and tolerance for criticism in serious question.

What troubles me most, however, is her combative leadership style. I’ve encountered Groya in a number of settings, and it would be an understatement to say that when it comes to matters political, compromise is not her forte. Now don’t get me wrong – I think that diversity of opinion is a good thing, if for no other reason than it gives me something to write about every week. And God knows I’m no moderate, so it would be hypocritical of me to assail the dedication she feels toward her cause – the deficiencies of the cause itself notwithstanding.

The problem, however, is that as Senator for Governmental Affairs, Groya will be responsible for representing the entire Kent State student body to our elected officials, most of whom are Republicans – at least at the state level, where the most work needs to be done. Groya is a staunch liberal and, well, let’s just say she isn’t afraid to let you know about it.

So given the intensity of her abhorrence for all things conservative, how does she expect to mesh with the current majority in Columbus? My guess is that, barring a substantial change in attitude, she’s not going to have much luck. In my dealings with her, she has never shied away from blaming the Republican party for anything she could, and this is especially true of the perceived “crisis” in Ohio’s higher education system. I’m no fan of Bob Taft either, but if Amy Groya thinks she’ll make any progress by using her USS position as a soapbox for partisan rhetoric, she’s going to be sorely disappointed.

If she does take such an approach, one might be led to believe that it is her own best interests, rather than those of the university, which she has in mind. After all, what better way for Groya to score some points among the Democratic party bigwigs than to use her position to launch an aggressive and highly visible crusade against state Republicans? Such an affront might do wonders to further Groya’s political prospects, if indeed she has any.

But let’s hope that this scenario is a fictional one, and that Groya is planning to make diplomacy her guiding principle. Honest disagreement is fine and constructive criticism is always welcome, but aggressive posturing and partisan finger-pointing will only antagonize those who might otherwise be inclined to listen.

And more antagonism is the last thing we need. Isn’t that right, Amy?

Tony Cox is a senior philosophy major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected]