Friday, March 24, 2017 –Snarky Friday. Just Because You Can Does Not Always Mean You Should. Rick Perry, The Aggies and Glow Stick Gate
“The perception is the reality.” That statement is one of many drilled into the minds of public servants. How does the public perceive your actions as a public employee? This concept is known as “perception reality.” YOUR perception is related to preconceived feelings and experiences that often create your current reality.
I am not sure I would have stepped into this bovine by product currently stinking on the Texas A&M campus.
Backstory – U. S Secretary of Energy, Rick Perry, publically questioned the recent election process for Student Body President on the Texas A&M campus. RP, if I understand correctly, is questioning whether due process was followed.
The apparent winner was disqualified because of apparently not reporting a campaign expense for glow sticks. Granted, I have no idea the dollar amount for glow sticks in question. $1.00? $500? He was disqualified and the election went to the second place finisher.
There are so many issues at play. I can feel the fan blades starting the rotations as the bovine fecal by products hit it. These include, but are not limited to:
- Federal intervention – RP is now a federal appointee to a Cabinet Post. As Governor of Texas his comments and intervention might have been appropriate. But as a federal employee it can be perceived as federal government intervention into a public institution of higher education. – Alma mater or not.
- Freedom of speech – yes, RP can certainly voice his opinion, but his opinion is interpreted differently by many people. With his current political appointment RP now speaks for an organization.
- Diversity – the newly elected Student Body President is openly gay.
- Old Ags – RP is considered an “Old Ag.” This is not a derogatory term. It simply refers to older Former Students who are more resistant to changes in the university. Who remembers the lawsuits to even allow women to attend Texas A&M? Or the lawsuits to allow women into the Corps of Cadets? Or the lawsuits to allow women into the band? Sorry RP, the lawsuits for female Yell Leaders are waiting in the wings of diversity. If a woman can lead the entire, largest ever Corps of Cadets in Texas A&M history, then one can damn sure the lead the yells.
- Money – always follow the money trail. The disqualified Aggie’s parents are major financial supporters of RP, (the $ix figure kind of annual donation$, my excellent sources tell me.). All campaign donations are public records.
In closing, more wisdom from the public servant hand book:
- The perception is the reality.
- You do not have to defend the results; you have to defend the process.
- Just because you can do something, does not always mean you should.