The student secular alliance fires back at Moore

On Sept. 13, Alan Moore penned an editorial stating, among other things, that the U.S. Constitution does not mandate a separation of church and state and that the Secular Student Alliance is a threat to American culture.

In response to church-state separation, we could go through a litany of court decisions, treaties and comments by the Founding Fathers that prove Mr. Moore wrong, and there are many.
What is more important though, is whether we all still understand and agree on its benefits.

A secular government is not an atheistic government.

It just refuses to take sides on issues of religion. Many theists recognize this protects them and does not hinder them.

If schools lead children in prayer, will it be a prayer you agree with? If the creation story is taught in school, will it be your creation story?

We’ve spoken with students from a number of theist groups and found almost universally that we share respect and support for church-state separation.

But Mr. Moore betrays that his true agenda is political when he attempts to equate non-theism with liberalism. There have been many prominent non-theists who would bristle at such a claim.

Actor John Voight and objectivist Ayn Rand are two examples.

His attempt to draw this equivalence borders on the absurd. He argues that a communist named Saul Alinsky recommended using humor to make a point. We non-theists sometimes use humor.

Therefore we are communists. Using this logic, both George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan are communists as well.

Mr. Moore, if you want to understand why we started our organization, you need only look in the mirror.

One of our main goals is to defend our rights against those who would use us as pawns for their political ends.

Once you have “defeated” all of us non-theists, who will you deem different and scary enough to turn on next? Muslims? Hindus? Mormons? Catholics?

You, sir, are the true threat to American values.

As long as we still have a voice, we will fight your attempts to divide us.

-The Student Secular Alliance

When it comes to workers, Sodexo says ‘Let them vote’

If the Service Employees International Union believes it has our employees’ support, Let Them Vote!

Sodexo’s employees have proudly served the George Mason University community since 1984. Recently, Sodexo has been attacked by the SEIU, which wants to force us to recognize it as the employees’ representative, without our employees being able to vote on the issue themselves.

SEIU is attempting to fuel its growth and dominate rival unions that traditionally represent food service workers. The issues raised on campus reflect SEIU’s campaign against Sodexo. The campaign does not take issue with Mason – and it is not about protecting Sodexo employees.

Sodexo believes our employees should decide if they want union representation through a federally supervised secret ballot election. This basic right protects the privacy of every employee’s decision and prevents management or union organizers from exerting undue pressure on employees. Because of this stance, the SEIU has targeted Sodexo and has orchestrated disruptive student and employee activity on campus based on false allegations about how we run our business and treat employees.

The Mason community deserves an accurate picture of Sodexo. Sodexo is committed to creating opportunity for our employees. We provide competitive wages and lead our industry in expanding the benefits available to front-line employees.

We offer training to help them learn new skills and get on a path to promotions and higher pay. We have signed records of the training completed by employees to ensure they have received and understand our safety procedures and Sodexo provides all required personal protective equipment.

Our safety measures have been validated by an independent third party and state inspections. Sodexo respects the rights of our employees to join a union or not, as they choose. Our workforce is more than 15 percent unionized – more than twice the national average.

Nearly 90 percent of Sodexo’s Mason Dining employees have not participated in SEIU’s disruptive activities and many have complained about the SEIU’s intimidating organizing tactics.
While these tactics may raise the union’s visibility, most of our employees say they’re not welcome.

After a year of this misinformation campaign, the SEIU still has not sought recognition or filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a federally supervised, secret ballot election at Mason or any other place where Sodexo operates.

What’s the SEIU afraid of? If the SEIU has the employee support it claims, Let Them Vote!

Our employees and the Mason community deserve a resolution to this purposeless campaign through a democratic, federally supervised secret ballot election.

Denise Ammaccapane
Regional District Manger