We respect our professors because we are enticed by their compassion, their broad-mindedness, their willingness to share, their bibliometric success and their love for learning. They impose themselves in our lives as moral authorities insofar as they embody many if not all of the principles that are of value in meritocratic society. However, every so often, they disappoint us. The latest to do so, in my very personal opinion, is Professor Hadley Arkes.
At the end of March, Professor Hadley Arkes wrote an article for The Catholic Thing titled “The Supreme Court Hears the Cases on Marriage,” discussing his views on gay marriage. This is by no means his only article professing his views on same-sex marriage, but it is the most recent and also the one I will respond to. Professor Arkes is a tenured Amherst professor in the Political Science department. His opinions continue to be valued in politics amidst the growing debate about same-sex marriage.
When this race began, I was not going to give a public endorsement. Although it is usual for a president to endorse a candidate, I believed my role as president was to stay above all the politics. Nevertheless, over this past week, as I have watched the presidential elections skew towards the question of the need to have AAS experience, I decided to take my own experience, and endorse the person I believe would be perfect for the job.
Early this morning, in his article “George Tepe: A Modest Endorsement,” Chris Friend wrote in support of George Tepe’s presidential run and directed many criticisms against Will Savino. Friend’s chief concern with Will, it seems, is that he is a member of Mr. Gad’s and that sometimes his commitments to improv comedy could require him to leave AAS meetings early — it is, according to Friend, “all you need to know” when deciding who to vote for.
I’m not the biggest fan of George Tepe. He seems ambitious, and quite frankly, obsessive about AAS politics. Not to mention we’ve been on the opposite side of too many issues to count.
That said, there is no doubt in my mind that he is the best man standing for the job. I have a great deal of respect for George Tepe, because he always seems to be trying to help the student body, and is open to new ideas. George Tepe cares more about the student body and the effectiveness of the AAS than probably anyone else on this campus, and it is apparent in his track record.
If you’re wondering who to vote for in the upcoming AAS Presidential race, the choice should be simple: go with the person who came to you.
This Thursday, I will cast my ballot for Amherst’s next student body President, and I recognize that I am making a choice that will have an impact far beyond the next year.
I will vote for the candidate that I feel has fought for changes large and small and has a proven record of making Amherst College a better college.
In short, I’ll be voting for George Tepe.