In your most recent editorial, you stated that Bethany Duncan, our elected Homecoming Queen, should not have won due to a ‘major technicality.’ She was absent from a mandatory meeting. I strongly believe (as I have strong feelings and opinions on this matter) that her absence from the mandatory meeting should not be an issue.The elected office of Homecoming Queen, a holy and time-honored tradition, should not be sullied by such controversy. Our elected candidate, the Homecoming Queen-elect, won the popular vote. The mandate of the people is with Bethany Duncan; the people have spoken.Back to the mandatory meeting; to paraphrase our twice-elected President Bill Clinton, “That depends on what the meaning of the word ‘mandatory’ is.” In my opinion, there are two definitions of mandatory. The first is a textbook definition of mandatory–a synonym for “required.” This definition is used in things like our degree plans and would imply that failing to perform a “textbook-mandatory” task would disqualify our Homecoming Queen-elect. However, this is not the definition of “mandatory” I would like to use.A second form of the word “mandatory,” may be substituted by the phrase “dorm-mandatory.” Anyone who has done hard time in the university residences may be dimly aware of upcoming “dorm-mandatory” meetings. “Dorm-mandatory” meetings are anything but mandatory. They usually cover such pressing topics as spring break, Thanksgiving break, and/or the semester break. One key feature of “dorm-mandatory” meetings is that they do not take roll for these meetings. Are you reading this, freshmen? It is my (strong) opinion that the allegedly mandatory Homecoming Queen meeting was, in fact, “dorm-mandatory.” As such, it is a simple jump in logic to imply that the meeting was not actually mandatory for candidates to be legally elected, and thus, there should be no controversy. The people have spoken, and they have elected Bethany Duncan, our rightful Homecoming Queen.Okay, throwing all of the above aside, let me give a word of advice to any organizers of any event. If you schedule a mandatory event, whether it be a meeting, registration by a deadline, or completion of a deadly obstacle course like that found in the feature film “First Knight,” you must clearly and immediately enforce the penalty. If Bethany Duncan should have attended the mandatory meeting and failed to do so, she should have been clearly and immediately disqualified. Since she was neither clearly nor immediately disqualified, there should be no more discussion. Period.
Letter to the EditorPeter Seale