SGA: Send your sympathies, not your policies

 The SGA here at UVM recently proposed a resolution that would offer condolences to the Marchand family in light of the tragic shooting.Because the shooting appeared to be fueled by a debate over UVM tuition prices, the resolution would also contain a section putting pressure on the University to lower the cost of attending UVM.We believe — and fortunately many senators agree with us — that these two issues should not be juxtaposed. Offering condolences is certainly appropriate, and we doubt anybody opposes that aspect of the resolution, but this tragedy should not be exploited to make attending UVM cheaper. The resolution would put far too much blame on the University for Olivia Marchand’s death.We shouldn’t blame the school or its tuition for this tragedy; it was an isolated act of an emotionally disturbed father.We shouldn’t point a finger at UVM and say, “Look what you did.  Change your ways.” Plenty of schools have tuition that rivals, and in many cases surpasses, that of UVM.  Olivia Marchand could have wanted to attend the University of Michigan, and the same tragedy could have occurred. Everybody would love to come to school for less money, but tuition goes up for a reason and it can’t just be lowered at the drop of a hat. This resolution would say, “In memory of Olivia, please lower tuition” and if UVM doesn’t respond by lowering tuition, they risk appearing cold-hearted when really their hands are tied by budget concerns. That is unfair.Let’s recognize the Marchand family tragedy for what it is: a tragedy.There is no need to display it as a poster child for the tuition debate.  It doesn’t belong. If the SGA wishes to lower tuition, there are other ways to make their voices heard.Petitions, protests, and simply drafting another bill that excludes the Marchand family could all be methods to help lower tuition — they don’t need a tragic mascot.Luckily, the vote on the resolution has been delayed and we hope, when the issue is revisited, the SGA has rethought their position.The Cynic would like to send our condolences to the Marchand family and we think it is fitting for SGA to do the same, but please — leave it at that.