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Rudeness isn’t reason enough for a recall

The following reflects the majority opinion of the editorial board

After Oxford City Council mandated masks indoors last week, a group of 10 students is trying to remove both the mayor and another city councilor from office.

These students believe that because Mayor Mike Smith and Councilor Jason Bracken “took the opportunity to disparage members of the student population” during last week’s Council meeting, they are unfit to lead a college town. 

This attempted recall is both performative and ineffective.

Sure, it was also uncalled for Smith to call out the entire student body for being immature, but an attempted recall is an overreaction. 

On a weekly basis, the number of students who attend or even pay attention to City Council meetings is miniscule. 

Most of the time, students could care less about the government of the town in which they live, even after multiple attempts from the city and university to get students to embrace their home for nine of the year’s 12 months.

The only reason students spoke out against the citywide mask mandate last week was because of its impact on Uptown nightlife.

It’s both privileged and entitled of students to only care about their local government when convenient for them. 

The past 18 months have been full of calls to action aimed at the student body to treat Oxford like it’s home and protect each other from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. So for these students to band together in opposition to a measure that medical experts have said will protect our community defies logic. 

This potential recall is also a highly ineffective use of students’ time. Even if the group of students were to get 15% of Oxford voters to sign their petition, all it would do is put a recall vote on the upcoming election ballot. 

That election is scheduled for Nov. 2, 2021 … when Smith’s term is already scheduled to end. 

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Instead of attempting to recall two elected officials, these students could just campaign against Smith’s reelection. 

This planned recall was announced less than a week after the “offensive” statements were made, which would explain the flawed plan. 

It’s reasonable to be upset by the fact that community leaders are bad-mouthing the student sector of the community, but throwing a tantrum only proves the point they were trying to make. 

That point wasn’t completely unfounded either; Miami students did end up on TMZ last year for failing to comply with COVID-19 safety regulations. 

Rudeness isn’t reason enough for recall. 

A better course of action might be getting students more involved in local government, so that when the time comes to elect our local representatives, the student body can do so with confidence. 

But next time somebody says you need a babysitter, maybe try and use your words before kicking and screaming.

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