Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Louis’ arrest should close the door in the Roh-Louis ticket

By Dmitriy Shapiro

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Columnists’ views regarding the upcoming election are entirely their own, and do not reflect the opinion of the Daily Collegian Editorial Board.

If SGA President and Trustee candidates Yevin Roh and Widlynn Louis’ campaign flyers are to be trusted, the promise of providing “input” to revamp the University of Massachusetts Student Code of Conduct will not happen. Among many questionable actions that have plagued this and previous election seasons, the behavior displayed by Widlynn Louis – Yevin’s running mate – leaves me and many UMass students with a clearer picture of the race on the last day of elections.

            Louis’s two recent arrests by the Amherst Police Department, one for alleged felony assault with a deadly weapon (brass doorknob) and this weekend’s arrest for alleged noise violations, has been covered by The Collegian and the Daily Hampshire Gazette. The real question begging to be asked is what kind of character judgment does Roh possess for selecting Louis to represent UMass as trustee?

            Presidential candidate John McCain was criticized upon his selection of Sarah Palin because of her immense lack of political intellect and inability to logically respond to questions asked by media representatives. I would argue that Palin was a major reason for McCain’s loss. Now imagine if Palin had a “felony assault with a deadly weapon” on her record – or two arrests within weeks of each other? McCain’s judgment would be severely questioned to the point of invalidation.

            Logically, I can suspect that Roh – a good guy by accounts of people I have talked to – has trouble making sound decisions. Personally, I had kept an open mind to all of the campaigns while seeking information to aid me in making an educated decision. Roh must have known of his running mate’s arrest record during the campaign, or should have if he is qualified to be SGA president. Knowing this but still continuing on with Louis as a running mate makes me wonder if he is really thinking of the school’s well-being or his own activist career.

The school would have been better served if she had been dropped from his campaign when he first found out. Instead, they have angered members of the student body with their lack of common sense in leaving themselves vulnerable to receive further negative public relations. If deciding on a running mate could backfire so badly on Roh, imagine what could result from his presidential decisions? I’m certain that his choices for his executive board, judging by the ticket’s record until now, won’t ensure that their promise to create a “student government that mirrors the student body” or “Make UMass Safer” will be kept.

            The student trustee is probably the most consequential student position on campus. This one student is elected to represent our student body to the UMass Board of Trustees in Boston, a board whose power is the last word in the most important decisions facing our campus. This would include dealing with the fallout of the new “flagship” fee being added to the student bill. If elected, Roh proposes to impress this prestigious board by presenting someone who likewise has questionable people and political skills.

Arrests published in the Amherst Police Log are public information that can help students make the correct decision. If you don’t want your picture on the front page, don’t get arrested or don’t run for office.

A group of upset protesters attended yesterday’s SGA meeting in support of Louis. The only logical reason for this was intimidation, since, for the most part, they were not senators and did not address the senate before the meeting. The group herded themselves in and out at odd times, only to finally find out that the disqualification of Louis was not on the docket and would not even be mentioned.

As a columnist, I represent only my own opinion. Personally, unless a drastic demonstration of competence is demonstrated in the last day of the election, which is highly unlikely, I feel that, at least, I could be confident in scratching off one of my options. Just solid logic; no disrespect intended.

Dmitriy Shapiro is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at


8 Responses to “Louis’ arrest should close the door in the Roh-Louis ticket”

  1. Sumner on March 10th, 2011 7:39 am

    Welcome to politics.


  2. Jose Marti on March 10th, 2011 3:38 pm

    If you believe that was a strike you are extremely ill informed. Are Senate meetings not open to the public? Or could it be that the individuals that showed up look different than what the senate does so they were automatically there to “intimidate”? Great choice of words. You show great ignorance and obviously haven’t even attempted to truly figure out what’s going on. Go search for true knowledge and educate yourself, then state an opinion.


  3. Michael Grant on March 10th, 2011 4:35 pm

    Your article in today’s Collegian is out of pure ignorance. Sine when did the word arrest and conviction carry the same meaning. I too have been arrested before, for assaulting a police officer and disorderly conduct. At least that what my record said before it was cleared upon my case being thrown out. What actually happened? I was cited for riding my bike on the sidewalk, when I was actually pushing my bike on the sidewalk so I can lock it a lamp post. I started arguing with the cop and in a separate incident I “spat” near his feet, which was enough to handcuff me on a felony charge on assaulting a police officer. Now if I was run, would dear say that I am not a worthy candidate because of a past arrest that was clearly unjust, Of course you would because of doing your research(like the SGA candidate Yevin did, you would learn that certain things look worse on paper. If you was to talk to Widlynn about the current situation with her ex-roommate she will probably tell you that is was an argument that got blown out of proportion. I don’t know either lady personally, but I did my research, something that obviously is beyond your abilities. Maybe you grew up in a culture where ignorance is common, but in the real world this stuff happens everyday. So instead of doing your research, you instead chose to pick on someone who already has enough on her plate to handle? You should be commemorating Yevin, for learning the facts and sticking with the young lady instead of questioning judgment. I seriously hope that one day you will see past your ignorance and see that life is not just about what is written in ink.

    Michael Grant

    I hope to hear a response from you


  4. Dmitriy Shapiro on March 11th, 2011 8:08 am

    Mr. Marti,

    You are correct that SGA meetings are open for members of the public so that they can observe proceedings that may interest them. Widlynn Louis’ supporters had the right to attend as long as the proceedings where not disrupted. Since Louis’ invalidation was not on the docket, I do not know or claim that they would have become disruptive. I have also watched SGA senate meetings when an issue that I cared about was being debated and voted on, to show solidarity and be a witness to the arguments presented. Although, I maintain that I used the word “intimidation” properly in my article to describe what I believed was Louis’ supporters intent.

    Intimidation does not mean violence and can be defined as any action designed to frighten anyone or any group into making a decision that is contrary to one they would make on their own. Louis’ supporters came to the meeting because they knew that there is a good chance the senate would not decide in her favor; although since it did not happen, I could only assume this as her supporters had. Only a few within the mob of supporters that attended the meeting were SGA members with voting rights. None of them addressed the senate before the meeting started. What would have been their purpose if Louis’ invalidation had been on the docket?

    Their attendance must have had a purpose. Assuming they were not there to disrupt the meeting, at the very least they were there to frighten the SGA due to their large numbers.

    I am offended that you believe that people who look different can be intimidating just by their presence. I certainly did not think that they looked any different than the SGA; neither — I would assume– does the SGA; nor was any difference in appearance from members of the SGA mentioned anywhere in the article. What is intimidating is the amount of people that came and their visible anger. Having been a senator at my previous university; I have witnessed, felt and stood up against intimidation from members of the student body, other senators, and executive board; have seen my colleagues succumb to, or stand against it also — either due to threats of violence or otherwise as in this instance. What her supporters did was peaceful yet irrelevant and disrespectful, serving only to make her ticket look worse; especially when they found out that they should have inquired about the agenda first! Pretty embarrassing organizing I must say.

    I don’t know why you believe that I think it was a strike. “Striking” was not mentioned or implied in my article. I wrote that they were there to protest. The difference between the two words is significant. To ‘strike’ is to stop work for an employer or authority in protest of disagreeable policies or actions until their demands are met; “protesters”, the word that I used to describe her supporters, refers to people publicly voicing an opinion running contrary to those they are protesting.

    My opinion reflects my observations since I was actually there to see the events I wrote about unfold. If you have verifiable and conclusive evidence or documentation that you can provide me with so that I could become less “ignorant” and more “educated,” I would be more than willing to publicly rescind my opinion.


    Dmitriy Shapiro


  5. Abraham on March 11th, 2011 10:54 am

    For someone to say this article is completely ignorance just shows the ignorance on their part. ( Not the writer by the way.) The writer is questioning his leaders, which is completely understandable and something we should all do. I’m not saying that Yevin will be a bad president or a good one, but by picking his running mate he chose to pick someone with a record, which is going to look bad either way. Now I say this as someone who has done their research and still feels the same way as the writer. I do agree that many incidents in police actions are misunderstandings but take a closer look. You said that it was just an argument, Michael Grant, that was blow out of proportion. Being what an argument is, being between two people in this case, and being one that was blown out of proportion implies that both sides lost their cool and got a little crazy. But what she is trying to become is someone that represents an entire school in from of our state. What if she was to go in from of the state and “blow something out of proportion?” We would not only look bad but we would not be taken seriously anymore and the schools reputation would be on the line. I don’t know about other people but I am not going to vote for someone who can put their university in such a detrimental state. Do I believe in what she was running from is right? Yes I do but you can’t only go by what they say they are going to do, you have to look at the sources it is coming from. We need someone who we can count on to do what needs to be done in a professional and sensible way. That means not losing you head. Now I can’t say whether people were there to “intimidate” or not, I can say there was a lot more people there than there is at a regular meeting. And yes it is an open meeting and they could have been there for former senator Cody’s removal.

    This was a good piece of writing and there is not proof that he/she did not do their research. To say that they didn’t is close-minded and hypocritical. The commentary on this article is like being in a debate with someone and instead of hearing them out and trying to see their side you yell out ” No your wrong and stupid!” then run away. You guys have to do what you preach and do research on all sides and not just your own.


  6. Son Yule on March 12th, 2011 10:53 am

    Your own biases are well exposed, Dmitriy. You refer to Yevin as having an “activist career,” and you don’t put it in a positive light. Do we really need to go over other figures in history who pursued “activist careers” just to prove that being an “activist” is not a bad thing? For example, I’ll bet you don’t have a problem with Frederick Douglas pursuing an “activist career”; or Sojourner Truth for that matter (both of whom organized in nearby Florence, MA).

    In all honesty, I’d rather see someone succeed who has motivations to change how power politics work in our society than someone dedicated to maintaining the status quo when it comes to systemic disempowerment and disenfranchisement of the oppressed groups (including students).

    In short, Dmitriy, it’s clear where you stood before Widlynn’s arrest, and you ought to know that you wear more on your sleeve than you might think.


  7. Boris on March 15th, 2011 3:55 pm

    Just another spook with an attitude, if you ask me. The woman has got a fiery temperament and the photo posted doesn’t do much to disprove it.


  8. Granted, Michael on March 15th, 2011 4:23 pm

    Michael, if you look in the SGA article about Yevin and Widlyn Yevin admits to not knowing Widlyn prior to running. Also, I suspect your story isn’t quite what it expected to be, just going out on a limb.


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