By Zainab Iqbal
Published: April 5th, 2017
Brooklyn College Radio Station’s (WBCR) elections are finishing up today, and there are certain things that remain unclear. From information received by an anonymous source—whom will be referred to as “Sally,”, students who were interested in running for General Manager were convinced to run for other positions—from the now unopposed candidate, Ray Walker. Sally also believes that the falsified names on the election poster were written to deter candidates, and to give Walker an easy win.
Following the article “Brooklyn College Radio E-Board Elections” published last week, The Excelsior received an email from WBCR saying that a “correction… must be made.” The article reported that three people were running for General Manager of the station: Walker, Al Green, and Barney. According to WBCR, that was incorrect. Walker is running unopposed.
The names, Al Green and Barney, were taken from WBCR’s official Instagram page. The poster, where the names were written, was posted on Friday, March 17th, the last day for proposals for E-Board candidacy. One day later, on March 18th, a revised version of the poster was posted on WBCR’s official Twitter page. The revised version did not include Al Green and Barney.
Shortly after the article was published, Sally spoke to The Excelsior. The source believed that the two names (Al Green and Barney) were written to steer students away from running for the General Manager position—though “everyone knows Al Green is famous, and Barney is the purple dinosaur,” Sally said.
After asking how the Excelsior got access to the original poster, Joanie Martinez, a WBCR producer and ambassador, said the newspaper “should still have confirmed the names,” even after being told that the names were taken exactly from the station’s official Instagram page post of the flyer. Apparently, the poster posted on March 17th, was just a first draft.
But, according to General Manager Naydeen Rodriguez, the names Al Green and Barney were added on to the poster (by Rodriguez herself) to motivate Walker. “Ray was very passionate about running, and constantly kept asking me to tell him how many people he was running against,” Rodriguez said. “I couldn’t tell him who was running until after the last day for proposals. I couldn’t tell him that he was running unopposed.”
Rodriguez, who is also an intern at BET Networks, then joked to Walker telling him that he had competition. Because of that, “Ray started working harder and began to ask more questions,” Rodriguez said. The names on the poster were put as a joke, and she “forgot to take it down [from Instagram],” she said.
Rodriguez believes that Walker has what it takes to be the next General Manager. “He understands the vision and the goals,” she said. According to her, though there are some amazing candidates running for various positions, there are also those “who don’t have the understanding. [And you] can tell they’re just running for curiosity and the name.”
According to Sally, Walker was convincing students who were interested in being General Manager, to run for other positions— including the source itself.
When Martinez was asked to comment, she said didn’t know anything about that.
Kevin James, a producer now running for Digital Content Manager, said he was originally interested in running for General Manager. In fact, James was “nominated by Naydeen and others,” he said. But according to him, “The timing didn’t work, and I found that I had more passion for digital content.” James believes that being General Manager is an amazing opportunity, but one that he cannot take right now, because he “found a place where [he] could make an impact.” When asked if it was Walker who had convinced him run for another position, he said no.
Walker had scheduled an interview with The Excelsior. The day of the interview, he cancelled. “It is best for both parties if we conduct any interviews with new E-Board members after the elections and results are finalized,” he wrote. Walker was not available for any further comments.
Though voting online may make it easier to conduct the election process, it may also allow campus organizations to place name on ballots to deter competition; something that many students who are running for positions dread.