Following The Diamondback's report that the Unity Party violated Student Government Association rules by failing to disclose contributions from affiliates of a conservative nonprofit organization, the Unity Party withdrew its ticket from the SGA election. The party's statement is reprinted below.
We in the Unity Party believe this: "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."- Barack Obama.
Those who will read this are likely concrete in opinion regarding the SGA as a whole, and the truly unknowing violation of Election Board rules and standards by the Unity Party. For this, we apologize. We attempted to play by the rules you set forth. Truly.
To our University system and the SGA as a whole, you are failing us. You stymie the upward march of humanity with your rhetoric and your means. Intellectualism at the University of Maryland is quickly dying, and it is being perpetuated by the people in power. Explain the fairness in a 501(c)(3) non-profit being able to contribute absolutely nothing to a campaign, but the SGA having the means in their bylaws to fund their own candidates… but don't worry, they'll say. It has to be passed by the legislature first.
Yes, the legislature that is running for re-election. Are you kidding? You can be your own Super PAC funded by the Student Activity Fee. And, you want to get compensated to do it.
See, change can never be catalyzed without a risk. We see the blatant corruption that exists in our University's political climate and we sought to change it. In doing so, we believed the ends justified the relatively harmless means.
We see ourselves as a force for this change. No, we don't mean to shove conservatism down the throats of college students. That would be immoral, and counterproductive to true unadulterated intellect. Quite frankly, we are more centrist than anything. However, linking yourself to a diverging train of thought on college campuses in this day and age brings lessons on McCarthyism flooding back into the forefront of one's mind. This is what we attempted to change.
What does it mean to "Have a real conversation", you ask? Here is what it means.
Sit down with someone who you don't see eye to eye with. Read their body language, feel their emotion, understand and internalize their inner-turmoil that we all posses and is the basis for the core pillars of who we are. Empathize. Sympathize. Reach a mutually agreeable conclusion.
But no. In today's society, it is only YOUR struggle that matters, YOUR opinion that is valid, YOU know best.
Our argument is that you don't.
Why? Because diversity of experience is the most beneficial education you could ever receive. Learning what makes people tick is the best tool for not only career success, but learning how to be a better person. Isn't that what life is all about?
Here is our parting message to the student body: you currently do not have a voice. You are underrepresented, overtaxed, and cripplingly unaware of just how much potential a unified community can have. We are so sorry that we will be unavailable to give you the tools to create the change that we knew we could provide.
To the future SGA and A.J. Pruitt in particular: be what we couldn't. Use the position of power that you have placed yourself in to do right by the people you represent. Engage us. Have a showing of the movie "Crash" and invite an open dialogue (actually though). But don't gloat on your Instagram about your peer's struggles and faults. We're all in this together. And that frog/tea emoji is tactless as all hell… especially for people who want to portray themselves as professionals (below is a picture, in case it otherwise disappears). At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: a better world. Don't let that dream slip past you.
To the legislators on our ticket that had faith in our message (so much so as to rebuke the incumbents and take a risk), words cannot describe the regret we feel. Our lack of disclosure with you was flat-out wrong. You should leave this with your head held high with the knowledge of your innocence, and your desire to do better than the people before you. THAT is a drive that not many people have. Best of luck in all of your future endeavors.
And so with that, the Unity Party announces their resignation from the 2017 SGA Elections. Here is to a better year with less hostility… we hope.