College Student Council Supports Anti-Same Sex Marriage Initiative
JerrySloan printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 05:13:24 PM EST
From time to time I have made note of the actions of the Slavic Evangelical immigrants here in Sacramento. A couple of days ago a group of Slavic Evangelical students were able to pull off a coup which is unprecedented in California community colleges or university history as they sit on the Student Council of the American River Community College, Sacramento, and passed a resolution to support Proposition 8, a ballot initiative which would overturn the recent California Supreme Court ruling allowing same sex marriage in California.
Unfortunately on many college campuses there is a lack of interest in voting for student council members and such has been the case at American River Community College with an enrollment of 27,000 in filling the 16 seats on the student council.

While there is no estimate of the number of Slavic students on campus it is noted however over 4000 of the 6600 English as a Second Language students are Slavic and Slavic members of the student council claim most are Christians.

Last year taking advantage of this lack of interest, nine people with Slavic surnames filed papers to run for the council and all won their seats which gave them the majority of votes on the council.

In and of itself at first glace it could be viewed as new immigrants and citizens learning about workings of democracy at a very basic level.

However, it was evident from the start these fledging politicos where not particularly interested in democracy or the interest of other students of the college for on their applications many stated they wanted to represent "Christians on campus" and "righteousness"

One student, Viktor Choban, the sponsor of the resolution said on his application he was interested in "removing humanistic bias from certain courses, (such as Evolution Science) and presenting other views, (such as Creation Science)."

Another, Daniel Karavan, stated he wanted, "to represent the needs of Christians at American River College."

Similar comments were made by other applicants.

When the elections were held 9 Evangelical Slavic students were elected by less than 500 voting students.

Three of the elected students were later removed because they did not meet the academic requirements, a 2.5 grade average, to be a member of the council.

Several of the council members have been aligned with a now defunct campus group called the Christian Civilization Club which disbanded last year after they held a very profane anti-Islamic rally on the campus.

Also, these same members have partnered with a another student Luke Otterstat who is a member of a home church group located in Placerville, California, aptly called The Church of the Divide, which has for many years picketed gay events and protested same sex marriage by parking pickup trucks with large anti-same sex marriage signs on the on freeway over passes.

As has been reported here on Talk2Action there has been a national effort to organize Slavic churches into a political force under the umbrella of an organization called Watchmen on the Walls.

While many wish for the demise of they Religious Right, it is doing everything it can to bring in new blood such as Slavic immigrants to boost its numbers and sustain its power.




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And, I would say that we also need to watch out for this sort of move on other college campuses.  Some areas have a large fundamentalist/dominionist population, and this is the sort of thing that they've been attempting (gaining control in small things).

I don't know how much impact a student council would have over the curriculum, but if they decided to bring pressure to teach nonsense (creation science) in the classroom, it could create unneeded friction.

I would bring this to the attention of the NCSE- as a possible future problem for science education.

by ArchaeoBob on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 07:03:20 PM EST


available - that too many americans are apathetic.  these students don't stand for what i stand for, but they did play by the rules.  democracy only produces good things if good people bother to participate.  

it is my experience that most students don't bother to vote at school because they see student government as immaterial to their lives and a toy for polisci geeks.  so how can they or anyone complain as to the result?  the big question now is, are other students organizing a public denunciation of the pro-prop 8 resolution in response, or are they continuing to not care?  perhaps in the main they don't disagree with the resolution.

by Laurel on Fri Oct 03, 2008 at 09:33:32 PM EST

I should have noted students who are upset with the student council's action have circulated petitions and gathered 450 signatures, more than double the number needed, to recall all of the council members who voted for the resolution.  An election must be called 10 days after the signatures are submitted.

by JerrySloan on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 11:58:51 AM EST
Parent
This is an important lesson in how the religious right, in its various manifestations works -- using the tools and mechanics of democracy for anti-democratic purposes. It also underscores what happens when people abandon the playing field of democracy -- singleminded factions take over, laregly unopposed.  Then it takes an effort suchas the recall election to try to undo the damage.

It is a story in microcosm for what has happend in the U.S. for several decades.

by Frederick Clarkson on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 12:23:10 PM EST
Parent




I vaguely recall a story I heard at UCSD forty years ago. SDS took over a defunct but funded student group names something like Student Religius Liberals. The SDS folks used this group as a front for outlandish political action. It did what SDS could not do because SDS was a serious group.

I find the current post another funny story about a goofy place--California. Laugh sometimes folks.

Ted Michael Morgan, Baton Rouge and smiling.

by TedMichaelMorgan on Sat Oct 04, 2008 at 11:17:36 AM EST

Reminds me of the time at Michigan State during the mid-sixties, before the anti-war position had become popular, an anti-war activist who was also an Episcopalian organized "Episcopalian for an Evening" in which a bunch of us counter culture types attended the Episcopal student group just long enough to vote up a strong anti-war statement in the name of the group.

by scrocker1946 on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 12:41:40 AM EST
Parent

Otherwise you might try seeing why this is such a deceitful thing done by these Slavs. The courts have already ruled, and I agree, that prop. 8 type marriage bans deny gays basic human rights. The fact is that almost all of those opposing same-sex marriage are injecting their religious beliefs into government. Don't want them to have a church ceremony, that's between them and the church. But to deny them the right to marry in a civil rite is going too far.

by trog69 on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 01:00:52 AM EST
Parent
I think they also don't want churches to be able to perform same-sex ceremonies as well.  I think they're trying to control other churches through the law.

The fundamentalists/dominionists/whatever-you-want-to-call-them say that they're afraid that they will be "forced" to perform same-sex marriages.  They say that it demeans Marriage and promotes immorality.  (I've heard it all!)

The reality is the opposite.

by ArchaeoBob on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 10:32:07 AM EST
Parent




...physical threats to intimidate gays, perhaps last year? I haven't seen anything since. Are they laying low, or just haven't beaten up anyone 'important' yet? This story now Digged. Hopefully those on campus fighting for recall will get a little more support.

by trog69 on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 01:06:22 AM EST

Thanks for keeping an eye on the stridently homophobic arch-conservative subset within the Slavic evangelical population. I remember the take-over by the Student Association elections at American River College in California, and the coverage of the Watchmen on the Walls organization one year ago.

by IseFire on Mon Oct 06, 2008 at 12:00:44 PM EST


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