Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Machine can work for change

Just as the Occupy Wall Street movement seemed to be losing much of its momentum as the cold apathy of winter started creeping through the skyscrapers of New York City, Mayor Bloomberg managed to almost single handedly thrust the issue back on the front pages of newspapers and blogs across the nation. The billionaire mayor of New York City ordered police forces to violate the trust that we all hoped existed between people and their governments.

And while the rest of the nation is preoccupied with the class struggles being fought out by protestors across America and abroad, The University of Alabama is facing its own version of class warfare.

At the Capstone, the corruptive politics of the Machine and recent articles in The Crimson White have widened the gap and fanned the flames of an already divisive arena of campus politics. Many responses to the recent articles illustrate a misunderstanding that has spread from one greek mansion to the next.

The comment sections below these articles on The Crimson White’s website are littered with arguments that have many greeks convinced that the Machine is justified because of the amount of money that greek alumni donate to The University of Alabama.

Even if that argument proves to hold some merit, money does not justify the actions of the Machine. In fact, this sort of argument highlights a problem that continues to poison this campus and the nation.

Many people from the 1% and many participants in The University of Alabama’s greek system fail to see the bigger picture of what is going on in America and at the Capstone. These respective movements are not anti-rich people or anti-greek community.

The greek community at The University of Alabama has provided some of its best leaders and alumni. The greek community gives people a gathering place that they might not have had available to them otherwise. The greek community often empowers its members and encourages them to be productive members of the community by serving The University of Alabama and the City of Tuscaloosa.

The greek system does a lot of wonderful things. Many greek organizations encourage their chapters to base their decisions on what most positively impacts their respective universities and not themselves or their greek community.

That’s one of the major problems with the Machine. It is an organization that is fully self-serving and fails to make its decisions for what best serves The University of Alabama.

The University of Alabama student body never started this rage against the Machine. It was the Machine who first declared war on the University. There are not many institutions at the Capstone that do not make an active effort to bring positive and substantive change to the University. The Machine is one of those organizations that, in most cases, would rather bring about positive and substantive change to themselves, many times in direct contrast with what is best for the University.

The Machine can work to change these things and stop fueling the rift between greeks and independents. If the Machine would stop using coercive tactics in order to obtain votes and membership, establish themselves as a legitimate organization affiliated with the Capstone and publically endorse candidates and platforms, the organization could begin creating an atmosphere where greeks did not constantly feel attacked and independents did not have to fear the greek system.


Michael Patrick is a junior majoring in political science. His column runs on Tuesdays.




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