Contrary to the old adage, rules were not made to be broken. However, rules should not be so restrictive that good initiatives are left on the cutting room floor.
The Student Government Association recently declined to fund the Rape Aggression Defense program, a training course that helps women defend themselves against rape and other assaults.
Student Government President Tommy Rector said the group's co-sponsorship guidelines prohibit funding programs that are not available to all. The RAD program is only available to women.
Rector said the "guideline" is treated as an unshakeable rule, one that was handed down from past co-sponsorship committees.
RAD is a good cause, Rector said, and one that SGA should have some part in sponsoring. He also noted that individual senators can take the initiative, and try to push funding through in the form of legislation.
DAILY NEWS editors have attended RAD courses, and can testify to their effectiveness and importance. We can also testify to the need to make them gender exclusive.
The authors of the guidelines obviously had their hearts in the right place, and wanted to prevent student money from funding programs that encourage discrimination and exclusion. But by rejecting a program whose very nature neccesitates the exclusion, SGA is following the letter of the law, instead of the intent.
Making the women of this campus safer from rape improves the life of every student, by making the campus as a whole a safer place.
The student government should take the lead in sponsoring this program. If the current guidelines prohibit that, they should be changed to allow for neccesary exceptions.