Sunday, February 22, 2009

College of Dishonour

As afternoon rolled into the evening, the few citizens remaining in the makeshift courthourse that normally serves as College of DuPage's boardroom were witnesses to the sordid depths people will plumb to preserve power. That justice finally prevailed that night was scant cause for rejoicing, for the scenes that unfolded over more than four hours left a vile taste. At stake was the right of Sandy Kim, a veteran and one of the most accomplished graduates in recent COD history, to take her rightful place on the ballot for the April election for the college's Board of Trustees. .

Aligned against her was a group containing several incumbent board members. You might think COD board members would be promoting her achievements and encouraging her sense of civic duty; but these men were instead trying to devour her on a baseless charge. Appointed board member Kory Atkinson had seen fit to object to her candidacy, alleging that she did not meet the residency requirement. The chairman of the electoral board convened to hear the case was Micheal McKinnon, current chairman of the board of trustees, who has business ties to the objector. Mr. McKinnon is also a candidate in the election for a 6-year term, who perhaps is not without self-interest in the outcome of the proceeding. Both men are colleagues of another incumbent Mark Novak, who will be a rival of Ms. Kim in the election for the 2-year term.

Sandy Kim made no mistakes in her application; there were no boxes left unchecked, no signatures of dubious origin, no variations in Christian name, no quibbles over numbers, the likes of which had characterized objections heard earlier in the day, mostly unsuccessful I should add. Ms. Kim's error, when it came down to it, was that she lacked affluence sufficient to establish a residence of unquestionable stability. Her intent to establish a permanent residence at her current abode, where she had signed a lease in March 2008, was called into question because of fluidity in her previous living arrangements for the two years prior while a student at COD. The fact that she shared this residence with others was used to insinuate that the current situation was unstable and apt to alter at any moment. The fact that she had mail delivered to her parents address was used to imply that she really lived there instead. The lengths taken to destroy Ms. Kim's candidacy were breathtaking. The president of Benedictine University was subpoenaed to produce all documents relevant to Ms. Kim; the objector himself drove to a post office in Bartlett to obtain an affidavit from a postal worker.

There were no facts against her, just insinuation, speculation and illusive questions of intent. Without an iota of evidence, the chairman of the electoral board still found fit to cast a vote against her. Only by a slender 2-1 majority did she prevail. As citizens, we should be grateful for the likes of Ms. Kim who have the courage and commitment to serve in unpaid positions on boards of trustees. That she was thus subjected to cruel, unfair and baseless attack by far larger and more financially advantaged forces calls us to play our parts in preserving the democratic process.


Anonymous said...

The only way we as citizens can remedy this current situation is to change the Board. Give a great big NO to McKinNOn and NOwak. Vote FOR the Trustees we can TRUST--Tom Wendorf, Kim Savage, Nancy Svoboda, and, of course, Sandy Kim!

Vote early, talk about this with friends, and encourage all of them to vote as well. These elections are low turnout and can be won by 100 or less votes.

Anonymous said...

Cyber Guy!

Your poetic language helped frame what I observed at both hearings. Thanks for your thoughts.

I join Anonymous above in advocating for candidates who will make necessary changes -- for the benefit of people who attend and work at COD.

One thing you both left out: By their objections, the Objector and Friends have let me know who to vote for! How easy is that!

Bob Sitze
Wheaton, IL

Aylwin Forbes said...


Thanks for visiting. By the sound of it you were there that memorable, yet agonizing day. Good for you. Now you know who to vote for, and who not, tell others to do the same.

No to McKinNOn and No to NOvak.

Despite being "anonymous," he was right on.