The United Student Association of GWU.
Have you ever heard such thing in your life? No you have not. Get on your marks, next year you will start to hear this concept.
I came to this school with a hope of studying on an “international campus” at the heart of the nation’s capital. Like every other GW student, this was what we were promised.
Well, since my first day, I have realized that we, the students, have to push for things around here. I have been highly involved in the student activities through the Turkish Student Association and also Colonial Inauguration. If the promises are not kept, I think it is up to the student body to go out there and make changes.
How can we start effective changes? First, with “our choice, our voice, our SA.” This is the slogan of the SA this year, but this campus deserves and expects much more than that. What we are trying to do is unite international students under the umbrella of the SA. That way we can have the new “concept” that I call “USA.”
On this campus, international students and domestic students do not interact enough to take full advantage of the diversity of the University. The SA has the means and potential to improve programs and give students the opportunity to make this campus a fun place to be. Elections will start Tuesday and we will probably find out the results on Thursday. Whoever is elected to the presidency or to the Senate and to all the other positions, must be aware of the willingness of international students to make changes on this campus.
Candidates to the SA are promising lots of nice and different things. These promises will be recorded and inspected by many student groups. We no longer want to have the frustration of facing financial difficulties to organize our events, or to hear promises soon forgotten after the elections.
On February 24, several different multicultural and international student groups sponsored a forum to meet the candidates. For almost two hours, we listened to the many different candidates running for SA positions. When I asked the candidates running for the undergraduate at-large senate seat how many international student groups exist at GW, only one out of five was close to the correct answer (which is 50).
I want to know how can we expect such students to govern from such a crucial position in the SA? When one runs for an important seat in the SA, s/he has to know the subject and issues of our campus very well. If SA leaders have not been aware of the presence and enthusiasm of international students, we are ready to show this determination not only by taking our members to the polls – but also by working with the new SA officers next year.
I address all the future officers of the SA – we are not after meaningless politics, or campaigns full of talk but without any action. What we are looking for is an honest, practical, efficient organization that cannot ignore the dynamism of international students. Ego should not be the determining factor to govern the SA. We want to see a Senate that can come up with policies and implement them rather than being at each other’s throats. Instead of trying to destroy each other’s campaign, think in a productive and positive way.
We want a very well-organized, friendly, happy family, which will be the USA of GWU. We are ready to take action and make changes. We have the potential to do it, but we need to communicate and share this in order to make our campus more “international” for ourselves and for future generations.
On behalf of the Turkish Student Association, I wish all the candidates the best of luck.
-The writer is vice president of the Turkish Student Association.