Letter to the Editor

In response to allegations of sexism, UVUSA officer Joe Jurisic wanted to make it absolutely clear, once and for all, that he is NOT a feminist.

 

Yes, Joe, I think we knew that.

 

But what does this imply? According to the very basic, Merriam-Webster definition, feminism is “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes.”

 

So, we have someone representing a student body comprised of both men and women who simultaneously does not believe in equality for women.

 

Therefore, with Jurisic in office, a large percentage of the student body is at a clear disadvantage.

 

Bizarre vocabulary misunderstandings aside (Jurisic is apparently unaware that sexism and feminism are in fact antonyms), Jurisic’s recent letter to the editor “apologizing” for his misogynistic tweets is wholly unsatisfactory. Furthermore, it is insulting.

 

The primary argument Jurisic enlists in his defense is that “Twitter, Facebook, and other social networking sites are a terrible representation of an individual.” He urges us not to take his words at face value. He wishes we would have a nice chat with him over a cup of coffee and really get to know him instead of making rash judgments based on his Twitter account.

 

As a public relations major, one would have assumed Jurisic would be more concerned with the message he broadcasts to the public.

 

If, deep down, Jurisic truly is the non-sexist he claims to be, then why does he reserve the amiable side of himself for private meetings over coffee while adopting the persona of a misogynistic bigot in his public internet life?

 

Perhaps Jurisic has forgotten he is an elected representative of UVU’s student body—an understandable mistake, given he ran for office unopposed and can be considered “elected” only in the loosest sense of the term.

 

As a UVUSA representative, the things Jurisic says in a public forum reflect on the student body as a whole.

 

How can UVUSA represent the ENTIRE student body if it includes members who use language that is demeaning to 43 percent of the student population?

 

If this kind of sexist attitude truly is reflective of UVU this might go a long way to explaining our dismal female graduation rates.

 

Needless to say, for anyone concerned with elevating the status of women on our campus, sexist language and attitudes cannot be tolerated, especially from one of our supposed representatives.

 

But Jurisic would like to move the discussion away from sexism. Not only does Jurisic deny his remarks are sexist, he also adds insult to injury by claiming if you are offended, it is your fault because you “chose” to be offended.

 

This really is quite the “apology.”

 

By admitting his comments are inappropriate but not sexist, Jurisic pretends not to specifically target women while making derogatory statements—such as “My turnover rate for followers is like my turnover for hoes #pimpinainteasy.”

 

Such tweets equate the value of women with mere sexual utility.

 

Those of us who “chose” to be offended by the tweets might have done so because, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, the average age for a girl in the U.S. to be coerced into becoming a prostitute (i.e., the Merriam-Webster definition of “hoe”) is between 12 and 14 years old.

 

Furthermore, associating oneself with “pimping” is to associate oneself with profiting from the manipulative sexual exploitation of these children.

 

These are not matters to joke about. They are matters we should be fighting to end.

 

Those of us who work against sexual exploitation were indeed gravely offended by Jurisic’s completely ignorant remarks, or calculated misogyny—either way, he is not someone we want representing the UVU student body.

 

And what of Jurisic’s claim that social networking sites are terrible representations of individuals? A 2008 study by Mitja Back actually found the opposite is true.

 

By studying the social networking profiles of hundreds of participants, researchers found these profiles were actually very accurate representations of the account user.

 

It seems Jurisic has the whole formula backwards. In his case, the representation is just fine. It’s the individual that needs some work.

 

 

-Submitted by The Coalition Against Discrimination

18 Responses to "Letter to the Editor"

  1. Whocares   March 26, 2012 at 9:31 am

    I am tired of hearing about this. RSU and Coalition Against Discrimination want to protest and make a scene about anything and EVERYTHING. Yeah, the comments were wrong. But this is just blowing everything out of proportion. The activists are a power hungry group of complainers. I agree with what their ideas of protecting sexual orientation–however, I do not agree with how they want to “occupy” everything that upsets them. There are better ways to go about things.

    From,
    A Reader That Is Tired Of Seeing Them In The Paper

    Reply
    • Jessica   March 26, 2012 at 1:43 pm

      So, what would be a more effective alternative to eradicate sexism and to get sexual orientation covered as a protected class in UVU policy? I would love to hear your solution.

      Reply
      • What has journalism come to?   March 26, 2012 at 3:08 pm

        Jessica, I’m honestly not sure if you’re being facetious or if you’re really asking for a solution. But obviously whatever this Coalition thinks they are fighting for is not discrimination, in fact its the exact opposite. I don’t think executing one person for a thoughtless comment should make him a target for this type of upheaval. These are my solutions: Promote a RELEVANT issue about sexism (and is it too much to ask, uplifting or motivating?) and promote students to voice their opinions and thoughts…isn’t that what anti-discrimination is all about?

        Oh and who brought UVUSA into this mess? To the coalition: Take action by becoming informed on who you’re targeting before accusing them of going against your coalition’s (and even UVU’s) goals/mission. You will get nowhere if you continue in your abrasive and ignorant manner.

        Reply
        • Gregory   March 27, 2012 at 8:39 am

          The attitudes of “democratic” student representatives IS a relevant issue. Who would disagree? Protecting and promoting UVU’s diversity IS uplifting and motivating…but, it also requires the removal of those that hinder that process.

          It seems you are confused about what the Coalition is- The CAD is composed of STUDENTS who are VOICING their “opinions and thoughts”.

          Who brought UVUSA into this? Jurisic is a member of UVUSA’s executive council, so frankly, he did. The Coalition’s position is that Joe has forfeited the right to represent the students, which is what he was “elected” to do in the first place. Sadly, it seems as though you are arguing that the members of UVUSA should not be held accountable to the students they represent.

          The Coalition welcomes the opportunity to work cooperatively with UVUSA, but will not withhold criticism simply to maintain status quo.

          Reply
        • Jess   March 27, 2012 at 9:20 am

          An individual chooses to become a potential target when they decide they are fit to represent a constituency. These individuals must be held accountable, be it within student, city, state, or national government. To address your solutions: the scores of students that signed yesterday’s anti-sexism petition regarding Jurisic’s comments definitely thought this issue was relevant to sexism, as do I, as a woman who has experienced it in many forms, who studies it academically, and who has worked to eradicate it at the local, national, and international levels. When it comes to allowing students to voice their concerns: first of all, the coalition is comprised of students who are voicing their concerns. Additionally, the coalition is continually encouraging more students to email/tweet Joe to voice their opinion.

          Reply
        • Gregory   March 27, 2012 at 10:03 am

          The attitudes of “democratic” student representatives IS a relevant issue. Who would disagree? Protecting and promoting UVU’s diversity IS uplifting and motivating…but, it also requires the confrontation with those that hinder these goals.
          It seems you are confused about who the Coalition is- The CAD is composed of STUDENTS who are VOICING their “opinions and thoughts”.
          Who brought UVUSA into this? Jurisic is a member of UVUSA’s executive council, so frankly, (on this issue) he did. The Coalition’s position is that Joe has forfeited the right to represent the students, which is what he was “elected” to do in the first place. Sadly, it seems as though you are arguing that the members of UVUSA should not be held accountable to the students they represent.
          The Coalition welcomes the opportunity to work cooperatively with UVUSA, but will not withhold criticism simply to maintain status…

          Reply
        • Jonathan   March 27, 2012 at 5:36 pm

          I’m confused. Are you actually suggesting anything, or just complaining about other students who are complaining, and that local/campus journalists and news media are covering it?

          Reply
        • Jake   March 28, 2012 at 3:58 pm

          Abrasive? Ignorant?

          We are angry, yes, but our actions come from a place of hope. Again, I am optimistic about the future of UVU, and because of the actions of the coalition I think a completely new section of the student body can say the same.

          Reply
    • Gregory   March 27, 2012 at 8:11 am

      The Coalition Against Discrimination has a very specific current campaign. It sounds like you just aren’t supportive of its initiatives. That’s okay. Please don’t confuse your lack of support for the Coalition’s lack of focus. If Joe’s comments were wrong there should be proportional and appropriate consequences as there would be for any official “democratic” representative. I don’t think ruining Jurisic’s life is proportional, but his resignation is. If by “power hungry” and “complain” you are referring to the democratic action taken by the Coalition, then so be it. Everyone complains when they see fit, and every un-apathetic person wants to improve the world. What are these supposed “better ways” to go about accomplishing goals?…The Coalition has its second official meeting with President Holland this week. It rallies student/employee support for its causes. What…

      Reply
  2. Alan   March 26, 2012 at 10:57 pm

    My guess is that the RSU and the Coalition Against Discrimination would love to stop protesting about things, actually. They’d love to not have things worth protesting about. They’d love for sexism to not exist in the first place. That’s just my guess. If you’re “tired of seeing them in the paper” it’s only because you don’t take sexism seriously. Maybe you’d rather read about sports and fashion and not have to be confronted with the realities of sexism in the world?

    The point is to make **** sure that our reps don’t just get away with sexist comments. If Joe had apologized sincerely and admitted his wrong, then maybe an ‘execution’ wouldn’t be necessary. Instead he maintains that he’s done nothing wrong, so the Coalition seems to be continuing it’s course of action against him. Seems reasonable to me.

    And dear coalition, I was happy to stumble on the rally today!…

    Reply
  3. Jess   March 27, 2012 at 9:32 am

    What else is the coalition doing? It is generating and passing out informative literature regarding sexism and how it is exhibited on campus. It is generating and passing out literature regarding discrimination against people with alternative sexual orientations on campus. It is initiating dialogue with students who care, students who might otherwise remain apathetic, and the few students who are hostile due to personal ties. It is circulating petitions to allow students to do something concrete in addition to contacting their representatives. It planned a rally, in less than a week, to inform, inspire, and involve, that had an incredible turnout of extremely supportive faculty, staff, and students.

    Reply
  4. Jess   March 27, 2012 at 9:44 am

    It met with President Holland on extremely short notice to discuss the need for sexual orientation to become a protected class in UVU policy as it is in every other publicly funded institution in the state. It will be having further meetings with President Holland to further this cause. As I already said, the coalition is comprised of students, that means people who have classes, work, families, who volunteer… and there is only so much that can be done in a day, yet the coalition is doing incredible things given its newness. However, if you have further input as to how the coalition could be more effective, apart from not thinking it is focusing on the right issues (it thinks it is) and apart from things it is already doing (like providing a forum for students to voice their opinions), it is welcome.

    Reply
  5. Jeffrey   March 27, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    Can’t take responsibility for your actions, don’t run for office.

    Reply
  6. Amy Sachs   March 27, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    You’ve hit the nail on the head!

    Reply
  7. Jonathan   March 27, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    I’ve never met Joe Jurisic, and haven’t seen his tweets. But his apology was embarrassing. This school ranks lowest in the state, which ranks lowest in this country, for women graduating at the same rate as men. He should definitely be a lot more informed on what sexism is and what gender equality looks like. And it does NOT look like a lot of female friends on Facebook.

    Someone should make some noise over Jurisic because who knows how many people, student government or not, who get away with saying offensive things about women, so make an example of him. I think he deserves it, if he’s really so careless.

    Furthermore, the only people I know who really like UVUSA are people in UVUSA, I think UVUSA is kind of a joke. Why don’t they prove otherwise, and take things seriously? Enough dances and sports movies speakers and let us actually be a serious academic university, yeah?

    Reply
  8. Jane   March 28, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Personnally I was offended by the tweets, but I would have been offended no matter who said it. I don’t think we need to go on a wich hunt for this one kid. lets face it, at one point or another most if not all of us have said something on a social networking site that we probably shouldn’t have. He did apologize so lets let it go. P.S I have read his ENTIRE twitter page and found these tweets to be an isolated incident.

    Reply
  9. Jake   March 28, 2012 at 3:52 pm

    I’m just so happy to see these important issues being covered in the student paper in an impartial fashion. I’m glad that Joe was able to voice his opinion on the issue and I’m glad the Coalition Against Discrimination was given the same opportunity.

    I stand with the Coalition Against Discrimination. I’m optimistic about the future of UVU.

    Reply
  10. Loraine   March 30, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    Hey, Whocares. There’s your answer- A LOT of people care. And in my opinion, that’s a very god thing.

    Reply

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