Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Clark-AU students irked with Borders

Posted By on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 at 8:13 PM


In a move that represents an astounding gift to Lisa Borders' mayoral opponents, a group calling itself the Coalition of Concerned Clark Atlanta University Students has petitioned for the Council president's removal from the school's board of trustees.

The open letter, which was e-mailed to press this morning, effectively blames her for not doing enough to protect students there in the wake of the Sept. 3 shooting death of Spelman student Jasmine Lynn, 19, who was hit in the chest by a stray bullet while walking across campus.

Why didn't I post something about the letter this morning? Because I didn't know who'd sent it or if the "coalition" represented a legitimate student interest group. I sent an e-mail asking for contact information, but received no reply.

But Borders took the letter seriously enough to hold a press conference refuting its charges this afternoon, so now it's fair game. Says she:

Today, individuals claiming to represent students at the Atlanta University Center and at Clark Atlanta University called for my resignation from the board of trustees at CAU.  They assert that I have not done enough to respond to the tragic shooting or to speak up for the safety of our colleges.

They are misinformed.

Borders then launches into a litany of actions she's taken on behalf of campus safety, such as developing an "Intercollegiate Public Safety Plan" and inviting Atlanta University Center student leaders to meet with her.

I must admit the coalition's letter seems a little suspicious, not the least of which because it's essentially anonymous. It's well written, but I have a hard time swallowing the authenticity of its grievances with Borders, such as:

Explain why she did not mention holding a position on the CAU board in her Thursday, September 3 statement on the tragedy. In the release, it talks at length about her campaign staff’s educational connection to the AUC. Yet, a disclosure of her being a trustee at institution where the shooting took place is conspicuous in its absence. We need to be convinced that Ms. Borders was not attempting to distance herself from CAU during a politically problematic moment.

Really? Kids are getting killed by random gunfire and this group is pissed off that Borders' same-day response to the shooting didn't include a mention of her board membership?

Hmm, is that astroturf I smell?

(Photo by Joeff Davis)

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