SDSU student prostitution. This time the Argus investigates.

Remember yesterday when I was railing on about SDSU Political Science Professor Gary Aguiar prostituting his students into being his campaign operatives under the auspices of it being a class assignment? This story is quickly taking off, and is a top story at the Argus Leader today.

From this morning's Argus Leader:
Students say Gary Aguiar, a political science professor, circulated a petition in class to help put him on the ballot, called for campaign volunteers and encouraged another class to create a campaign strategy for him as an assignment.

"I think it was an abuse of power, to be completely honest," said Brian Kimmes, a student in Aguiar's Political Parties and Organizations class last fall.

Kimmes said he and other students were immediately uncomfortable with Aguiar's call for students to strategize his campaign for the Tuesday election. He said students could and did work on other candidates' plans. But, he noted, none of those candidates were teaching the class.

and...

Jael Trieb, a student in Aguiar's American Presidency class this spring, said she and others were surprised when Aguiar handed his petition around in class for students to sign.

"We were shocked," she said. "I was offended that in a class of 25 or so people, he'd pass around a petition when he was clearly watching whether they were signing it or not."

Trieb said Aguiar also used a class e-mail list to call for campaign volunteers and organized campaign efforts directly after class.

and it gets better...

Copies of the Political Parties class syllabus and 34-page campaign plan titled "Gary Aguiar's Campaign Plan for the Brookings City Council Race" were obtained by the Argus Leader. The professor later decided to run in the four-way race for mayor.

The syllabus states students' class projects would be a campaign plan for an SDSU professor running for city council. Kimmes said Aguiar told students they could work on anyone's campaign but vetoed desires to do statewide races and instead pushed students to work on the upcoming city elections.
You need to read all of this article by Jeremy Fugleberg. Because some of what's in it is really damning.

One point that should be made is that the class is entitled "Political Parties." So why in the heck would he veto students wanting to focus on statewide or other races? THOSE races actually involve political parties (R, D, L or other) as one would expect by the title of the class. City elections have nothing to do with political parties and are instead non-partisan.

At the end of the article, Aguiar indicated that "he's felt as if he's acted ethically and in a good civic spirit." and that "If I'm violating any regental rules, I'm sure my supervisor and the administration will follow up."

I think he can expect they will.

Comments

mhs said…
All right, you got me. Now that I've read the story and seen the Regents policy, I gotta agree with PP. Policy is pretty clear-cut.

Having wasted more than a few credit hours listening to Profs Lobe and Fremsted at USD in the late 70's (they were the entire SD Socialist Workers' Party) I'm still in favor of real-world teaching vs. pure theory. (or failed world working-class utopian theory, in the case of those two). It was entertaining, and, at only $17.50 a credit hour back then, not nearly as hard on the wallet as today.
Haggs said…
Wow. I hope that class isn't required for Political Science majors.
Chad said…
Fugleberg is nothing more than a right-wing hack intent on taking down the more progressive Aguiar.

I've spoken to students who took the class, and they don't report anything like what Fugleberg wrote in his extremely one-sided piece.

The Argus Leader should be ashamed for publishing a lopsided sensational piece designed to sell newspapers in Brookings.
PP said…
C'mon Chad - you can't tell me you condone him passing his petition around in class.

I spoke with some of those who were in the class - and they were not comfortable with him watching over as they chose whether or not to sign.
Haggs said…
Wait, I'm confused. On the first post about this, someone said that Prof. Aquiar is a Republican but here Chad says he a Progressive?

1.) Which is it?
2.) It's a mayoral election so who friggin' cares what his party or political leanings are?
Anonymous said…
If the students weren't registered to vote in the city of Brookings they couldn't sign it anyway, so that probably excluded most of them. I'm not defending him, just making a point.
Anonymous said…
He was also getting them to change registration to Brookings. I know of 5 for sure that he got to changed.
chad said…
I'm not saying what Aguiar did was necessarily the right or wrong thing to do.

What I'm suggesting is that the piece by Fugleberg was a political hit piece he wrote months afterwards -- conveniently right before the mayoral race. No one complained or said they felt uncomfortable in the fall when the class was taught.

I'm also saying that it was highly wrong of the Argus to print the piece as some kind of unbiased journalism. It was an irresponsible piece for them to print without offering a different point of view.

Personally, I'd like to know what Fugleberg's interest in the Mayor's race is. He doesn't disclose it in the piece at all.

That makes it a hit piece. We should at least call it what it is.
Anonymous said…
At least Ds and Rs can both agree the Argus is a piping hot pile of crap...

Chad does raise a good point - where were the complaints and hubbub about all of this last fall, when the class was actually being held?

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