This is a letter to the editor that appeared in the October 13 issue of the East Tennessean.

Dear Editor,
I am writing in regards to the recent controversy surrounding the Ludacris concert. Some people are calling for the impeachment of SGA. I think many are not giving enough credit to SGA.
Let’s not forget that this is the first time that an event of this magnitude has attempted to be organized. Of course things are not going to go perfectly. The student vote poll for artists to bring was not conducted very well, but I am sure they have learned not to use that method again.
SGA is working for the students, trying to give us something nice for Homecoming. If you do not consider Ludacris nice or someone you want to hear, don’t forget there will be another concert next semester.
We should be thanking SGA for all of their efforts and hard work they have put into this. They were the ones fighting for our student rights at the city commission meeting.
And as for “our money,” yes it did come out of our pockets, but once it is paid to the school it becomes state funds. It is then the SGA’s job to determine how it is spent.
Also, it was not the current officers of SGA that wanted the fee increase, it was the previous officers from last year.
As for Jama Oliver, I find her offensive. Yes we do live in the conservative South, but I believe she is forgetting this is a state school. This is not a private or religious school.
I’m sure she isn’t the only one who finds Ludacris offensive at this school, but where were her cohorts at the city commission meeting?
She is a member of SGA, and I feel like it was a slap in SGA’s face the way she worked against them. She is a shameless résumé builder who belongs at a more conservative religious school.
The minute the religious members of ETSU find something offensive, they write letters and publicly protest and raise a ruckus about it.
Do they ever stop to think other students find their religious rantings offensive? Did they see anyone protesting the religious concert The Well held on the intramural field? I don’t think so! Separation of church and state people!
Maria Costagliola

Here is what I have sent to the East Tennessean in response to Maria:
This letter is in response to Maria Castigliola’s letter your October 13 issue in which she accused me of being a “shameless resume’ builder who belongs at a more conservative religious school.”
I have never used a religious argument against the Ludacris concert because I am not under the false impression that everyone shares the same worldview. This being the case, a religious argument would be ill-suited and unpersuasive. I am opposed to the concert on the grounds that both the vote for the activities fee increase and the email vote on the artist were slipped in with next to no advertising last semester and therefore left the vast majority of students without an opportunity to voice their opinion by voting. I would be opposed to any event that was funded in such a way in that it is anti-democratic.
It was only well after I began this fight that I discovered Ludacris’ lyrics, to which I am opposed on the grounds that they are degrading to women. An example? Take your pick: “Hoes in My Room”, “Dis Bitch, Dat Hoe”, “Move Bitch”, “Freaky Thangs”…need I go on? Considering the fact that this is a University where “PEOPLE come first, are treated with dignity and respect, and are encouraged to achieve their full potential” – as per our mission statement – I feel that it is inappropriate for us to support an artist who demeans fully one-half of the student population.
As far as my speaking out against the concert being a “slap in the face to the SGA”: I am on the SGA to represent my constituents, not to agree with whatever the majority of the senate believes to be the best for their constituents. The SGA is a representative governmental organization in which there will always be disagreements. If each and every member of the SGA simply went along with what the majority of members consider best, then there are students who are not being represented. I can think of no issue on which every student on this campus agrees and, therefore, there should be few if any issues on which the entire SGA agrees. When was the last time the US Senate made a unanimous decision? I hope that you would never vote for someone who will simply go with the status quo, accepting whatever their fellow senators place up for debate.
Jama Oliver
P.S. The reason that no one protested the religious concert The Well held on the intramural field is because it was privately funded, i.e. the student body was not forced to pay for it.

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