USS can do better than Sean Groves

Tony Cox

I was hoping that I wouldn’t have to revisit the blunders of the Undergraduate Student Senate Allocations Committee for the rest of the semester, but it recently came to my attention that committee member Sean Groves is running for the USS Business and Finance seat. If elected, he will replace current Senator Kevin Folk as the chairman of the Allocations Committee and, qua head honcho, will be responsible for the entire allocations process – including the appointment of the committee’s new members.

Why the beef? Well, the committee recently denied The Dive’s modest funding request for what promised to be an informative program on the spiritual component involved in overcoming eating disorders. And while it was Folk who ultimately offered the excuse that the request was not approved because it violated the committee’s policy of not funding “religious activities,” it was Groves who led the charge during the hearing.

Two weeks ago, I penned a column criticizing this decision. I argued that the reason for denying the funds was weak and indefensible, as the committee had funded a similar “religious” program sponsored by Hillel only two weeks earlier. The university seemed to agree, and last week it overturned the committee’s ruling. The Dive’s show went on, there was nothing Sean Groves could do about it.

My column caused, among certain committee members, much weeping and gnashing of teeth, if Mr. Groves will permit me a biblical reference. Now usually when policymakers come under fire, they either address the charges in a public forum, or they simply take solace in their authority and let the matter drop. Groves, apparently dissatisfied with these options, instead responded by joining the “Tony Cox is an Idiot” Facebook group, as did his colleagues Melissa Mingione and Amy Groya, as well as Senator Ross Miltner. How witty and professional our student leaders are.

Perhaps the only good thing I can say about Groves is that he is a member of the College Republicans, which I had the privilege of leading as president during my sophomore year. Historically, this group has not met with much success in the allocations process, and the idea that Groves might actually give them a fair shake for once is almost enough to win my endorsement.

Almost, but not quite. Regardless of his political sensibility, it would be ludicrous for me to advocate handing the most powerful position in student government to someone whose record has come to embody the sort of mismanagement, inconsistency and immaturity that have marred the allocations committee all year long.

Groves is a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity, which has produced two adept leaders on the USS in Bill Ross and John McConnell – though he seems unlikely to emulate his brothers’ strength, let alone their performance. More’s the pity. The fact that he is a fraternity man is important, however, in that it pretty much guarantees him a strong candidacy. “Greeks” and those with prior student government experience historically tend to do well in USS elections, and that Groves is both makes him a virtual shoo-in.

For better or for worse – probably for worse – the students of Kent State are likely going to have to rely on Sean Groves for their programming needs. If this is true, let’s hope that as his power burgeons, so too will his prudence.

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