As a junior, I am in a position from which I have seen the mistakes of years past, yet I will be around long enough to care about the present state of GW and its outlook for the future. Talk about the upcoming Student Association elections is already in the air. These elections year after year promise significant change, yet consistently disappoint me.
After some evaluation of the many factors of my disappointment, I have concluded that too much emphasis is placed on the individuals running for the presidency, and not enough on the students as a unified body. One individual alone cannot conquer SJT; in real life, it is Goliath that most often walks away from the fight.
Imagine if David had brought his sisters and brothers, roughly 17,000 angry and dissatisfied individuals, on that fateful day. For my purposes, these are students who are disrespected daily by those to whom they pledge their money and their faith to leave Foggy Bottom well educated. It is no wonder that many leave GW unfulfilled, for it is solely David (the SA president) from whom we expect our concerns to reach the elusive administration.
Please do not underestimate the significance of SA elections. I have realized the SA can either be worthless or vital, depending on the student support behind the lone SA president. We need to cast off the days of inter-SA battles and of suing the Joint Elections Committee. The three letters JEC mean nothing to me nor to other non-SA students.
Unified behind a progressive candidate who will not yield to the administration, we can turn the tide of disillusion and disappointment by making the next academic year a time for reform, setting an example to other universities nationwide experiencing the same inverse relationship between tuition and customer satisfaction. We must send the message that it is not okay to take advantage of one’s constituents. Thus far, the Trachtenberg administration has effectively trampled any flicker of student or faculty unrest and too many students have become GW alumni without a change in pattern.
Since we are a “business that dabbles in education,” as SJT has so eloquently stated, we as stockholders are offered the voice of the SA president to air all 17,000 of our individual thoughts and concerns. We must realize the power of solidarity behind our under-utilized SA president through consolidated support in vote, voice and action.
Resist apathy because $120,000 and four years is far too great an investment to legitimize cashing in our chips now. I urge you to make the difference and vote. Support your local David.
-The writer is a junior majoring in philosophy.