Mar 242009
 
Authors: Jim Sojourner

In an attempt to uphold pledges to keep their campaign as “transparent as possible,” student government presidential candidate Shaun Reed and his running mate Melisa Panagakos issued an apology Tuesday for a misleading campaign platform resulting from a pre-campaign research error.

Reed said his campaign’s promise to bring free trade coffee to the Lory Student Center is no longer valid because the LSC already serves free trade coffee in all of its dining entities, and in a letter to the CSU community, the campaign asked that the community disregard that particular promise.

“We made an error,” he said. “All our other platform issues are sound. That’s the one the slipped through the cracks.”

Reed said his campaign was initially aware that Sweet Sinsations and the Bagel Place already serve socially responsible coffee but that information about other LSC entities was difficult to obtain prior to the beginning of the campaign period due restrictions set forth by the Associated Students of CSU election code.

Additionally, many LSC entities, including its catering services, failed to return phone calls, he said.

“Stuff happens,” rival presidential candidate Daniel Gearhart said about the inaccuracy. “It’s unfortunate for their campaign.”

However, Conrad Miller, another rival presidential candidate, was less sympathetic.

Miller said the although Reed/Panagakos campaign is “supposed to have all this experience” and deep connections to ASCSU, the campaign failed to do even “basic research.”

“It’s incredible,” he said. “It’s hard to believe that their campaign made that mistake.”

Assistant News Editor Jim Sojourner can be reached at news@collegian.com.

LETTER FROM REED AND PANAGAKOS ADDRESSING THEIR MISSTEP:

Dear CSU students, faculty and administration,

We would like to extend to you our sincerest apologies and admit to a mistake that was made on our campaign.

As many of you know we have an item on our platform that states “Fair Trade Coffee in the LSC.” Currently the Lory Student Center and all of its entities serve socially responsible coffee. A miscommunication occurred during the process of researching this topic for [sic] our campaign platform, the campaign was under the impression that Sweet Sinsations and Bagel Place already used Fair Trade coffee but not the other entities within the student center. We went forward with the research to understand what needed to be done to make that transition happen utilizing community members and Fair Trade Coffee providers. In the process of the research that took place, the campaign neglected to confirm that the entire Student Center did not already use some form of socially responsible coffee.

We would like to apologize to not only the students but also to the Lory Student Center faculty and all those who make it such a high quality facility for students. We ask that the CSU community recognizes that as leaders we admit to our mistakes and continue to learn through this process as we are students as well.

Please ignore the “Fair Trade Coffee” item on any publications already distributed from the campaign, unfortunately do to financial reasons we cannot reprint our publications, however the website and Facebook groups will be updated.

Again we are sorry for the mistake and take full responsibility. At this time we would also like to commend the student staff and faculty of the LSC in their continuing efforts to maintain a sustainable campus and purchase products responsibly.

Sincerely,

Shaun Reed and Melisa Panagakos

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