When I read the column published on March 14, which stated the University Student Union needs to “rethink” its “Keepin’ It Pimpin’ award,” I nearly dropped to the floor with shock. Nicole Sunkes does not know Bobby Rodgers, the chair of the USU Board of Directors, well enough to call him “ignorant” and an “embarrassment” to the CSUN community. As a former USU Board of Directors student representative, I have worked closely with Mr. Rodgers, from July 2003 until my resignation in December 2004, and do not find the award title offensive.
If Ms. Sunkes has a problem with the award title, then I suggest that she bring it up to the USU BOD meeting during open forum. I personally do not find the award offensive, since the way the term “pimpin'” was used by Mr. Rodgers is not the same as she described it. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “pimping” as to work as a pimp; a pimp as a man who solicits clients for a prostitute, even though men aren’t the only ones who can be pimps. “Pimpin’,” as I’ve come to learn from working with the USU BOD chair, is to think outside of the box to keep things fresh.
As the chair of the BOD, Mr. Rodgers has instituted a number of changes that an ignorant person couldn’t have, including the award mentioned in the column. The award was designed to recognize the members of the USU that are dedicated to the organization’s mission statement, and to BOD members that go above and beyond their roles. He has constantly championed the students on this campus, even against the administration, and has a “student-first” mentality when it comes to making major decisions that affect the 32,000-plus constituency he serves.
If Ms. Sunkes believes that the title of the award is offensive to women and perpetuates gender inequalities and stereotypes, then I suggest to her that she run for a USU BOD seat and find out firsthand that one needs to “keep it pimpin'” in order to run a multimillion dollar organization without making award recognition ceremonies boring and pass?.
Mr. Rodgers, in his neighborhood, can be many things, but ignorant isn’t one of them.
Senior political science major and former student representative
for the USU Board of Directors