Letters to the Editor: In defense of Bernard Goehle

Bernard Goehle, '12

In the Feb. 24 issue of The Lamron, the staff editorial "SA Candidates Should Exhibit Decency and Transparency" presented an opinion about my actions without considering all of the facts of the situation.

In the spirit of transparency, I believe that it is my responsibility to inform the students who will be voting on March 8-10 about the reasons why I am running for director of student programming and therefore necessarily resigning as chair of the Undergraduate Student Association Elections Committee.

In late January, I was approached by the chair of Activities Commission, junior Nick Spengler, because the vice chair of AC had resigned at the end of the fall semester in order to study abroad and the position was vacant. Upon accepting the offer to take over the position, I instantly fell in love with the atmosphere and fun-natured characteristics of the board members.

Upon gaining a better understanding of the mission of AC, I realized how much I agreed with it – but I also could see the committee improving to better meet its goals. As the days and weeks moved forward, I started to think about how much I wanted to chair this wonderful committee; as elections chair, however, I knew this would be impossible. After thinking about it very carefully, I decided to resign as USAEC chair on Feb. 16. I knew the difficulty that the decision would cause people, but I also knew that this was the right thing for me to do, and therefore the right thing for AC.

When I started to become familiar with AC I saw all of the great things that the organization does, but I also saw how the committee could be improved. I realized that in order to accomplish the goals I envisioned for AC, I would have to be the chair and, therefore, would have to leave the position of USAEC chair. The decision to do so was not something I took lightly and I knew that there would be concerns. I will admit that the timing of my decision was poor, but it was something that I felt strongly about.

I would like to stress that the elections and the position that I held are very important. It was a responsibility given to me; however, I never expected to join AC and after deciding to join I never realized that I would develop such a passion for the organization. Upon realizing this passion, I knew it would be wrong to deprive myself of a chance to run for the position and therefore to deprive the student body of the good I will do for it if I am elected.

I feel that I hold myself personally to a very high standard; I believe that I am an honest, open, hardworking and sincere person. I want to know that I can look someone in the eye knowing that I have treated him fairly and been honest with that person. With that being said, if anyone still has any questions, comments or concerns, please contact me. I will meet with you and look you in the eyes and answer any questions truthfully and fully.

Zachariah Zaffuto, '12

This letter is in response to the Feb. 24 editorial, "SA Candidates Should Exhibit Decency and Transparency." In that article, the staff made some comments concerning Bernard Goehle.

The comments were made in response to Goehle's decision to resign as chair of the Undergraduate Student Association Elections Committee to run for director of student programming. The editorial described it as "…ironic and hypocritical…[for Goehle] to further his personal interests." I can personally attest to the invalidity of that statement. Goehle is a man of the upmost integrity and honesty. I personally spoke to him before he handed in his resignation and he said, "I feel like I can do more for the Geneseo community as [an] SA director then as election director."

He explained to me how his decision to resign was done to avoid a conflict of interest and to preserve the "decency and transparency" of the election. Furthermore, his resignation was done in a timely manner to allow the successful appointment of a new director and permit an honest election.

Goehle is one of the most devoted people I know to the campus. He has worked on numerous campus events including Humans Versus Zombies, campus move-in day, hall council and SA. He has also worked for Campus Auxiliary Services for 3 years and in that time has risen to the position of student supervisor at Red Jacket. Outside of school, he has helped my family on numerous occasions with caring for my disabled brother. He is a great man who has done a lot of good for this school and deserves the chance to do even more.  

Justine Rosen, '12

I was very disappointed to read the staff editorial in the Feb. 24 issue of The Lamron. I have been reading The Lamron weekly for my entire time at Geneseo and I have never seen the paper defame anyone the way that editorial attacks Bernard Goehle.

I understand that the point of an editorial is to share an opinion, but the opinions should be based, to some degree, on fact. My guess is that the anonymous writer of this article (an ironic twist in an article that's about transparency) does not know Goehle very well. The countless hours he has devoted to hall council, Inter-Residence Council and Student Association throughout his entire time at Geneseo are proof enough for anyone who knows him that he is not running for a position simply to further his "personal interests."

To call a person "contemptible" without taking the time to seek out the reasons behind why he has decided to run for director of student programming is, to put it bluntly, contemptible. Last I checked, it seems far more ethical to step down from the position that runs elections in order to run than to attempt to keep that position and still try to run. I sincerely hope that a Lamron staff member takes the time to sit down with Goehle and get the full story so that our student body can read an article that is more worthy of our time than this libel.