After three weeks Marzec and her blood bucket challenge are still talk of the town.
All anyone seems to be talking about (even after three full weeks) is the “Blood Bucket Challenge” that Student Senate President Megan Marzec created in lieu of participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Many have contested the content of Marzec’s controversial video, but to me, that hardly matters.
What’s significant, and what matters about this, is the delivery. The context in which the video was made in was her role as Student Senate president. In the video she says “As Student Senate President …” before expressing her views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She was using her position and power as president to heighten the reach and impact of her message. Connecting her words to her position was no accident, whether or not she meant it to be transparent.
The fact is, while Megan was running on Restart ticket, she claimed to be a force of change, to go against the grain of the current power structures. She wanted to give every student on campus a voice and a say in the issues that affect them. But with this video, she managed to violate her own principles before the first week of school was even underway. By using her political platform to amplify her voice and speak on behalf of students, she was reinforcing the very systems she intended to dismantle.
If she had simply made a video saying “Hi, I’m Megan, and here is my opinion on Israel and Palestine,” it would have been a lot different. But instead, she appropriated the Ice Bucket Challenge for shock value. It was a strategic move on Marzec’s part.
I understand she’s received misogynistic death threats. That’s wrong on every level and my heart goes out to Megan on that. No one deserves to have their life threatened, period.
But that doesn’t excuse her actions. She refuses to apologize and own up to her mistakes. Now, Student Senate is turning into a circus, with cops having an active presence and a crowd gathering like they are watching a tennis match. It’s maddening. Meanwhile, Restart can’t actually do any of the work they promised, because we’re caught on this seemingly never-ending train of dramatics.
Megan, all you need to do is own up to your actions. This is not about Israel and Palestine, it’s about integrity. It’s about leadership. The strongest aren’t afraid to admit when they’re wrong.
Regardless of your views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it doesn’t really matter in this case. This is about ethics. I am pro-Palestine, but that hasn’t stopped me from being disgusted by Megan’s actions or lack of respect for the Athens community.
The reality is, until she puts a stop to this madness, nothing productive is going to get done. No change is going to be made. It’s just going to continue to be a war. Even if it’s indirect, OU will still feel the reverberations. She needs to own up to mistake.
Erin Fischer is a senior studying women’s and gender studies. Email her at email@example.com.