In the Oct. 1 issue of The GW Hatchet, Jason Haber asked, “What does the Student Association do?” (“Where’s the SA Senate?” p. 5). The answer is as simple as the question. The SA is the only group on campus that represents every single GW student. It is the only organization that brings together the culture, ideas and goals of each student group on campus, from the Korean Student Association to the Route 66 Club to Latinos For Progress.
The SA serves The George Washington University through hard work, activism and community involvement. As Mr. Haber himself points out, getting work done involves “rolling up your sleeves and doing the dirty work.” It would be a fine response to Mr. Haber’s question to simply list all of the SA’s work on the student fee, the finance bill, community service like Miriam’s Kitchen and GW Votes. But that response would not be enough.
Mr. Haber asks, “Where’s the outreach, the activism?” As new freshman senators, our ideas for outreach and activism center around four issues.
First, GW students may like to party, but 10 freshmen taken to the emergency room for alcohol consumption is no party. This problem does not only apply to freshmen. The SA and the GW community need to address the alcohol policy for all students. Parties should end in a room and not in the hospital.
Second, we hope to work with fraternities, especially freshman pledges, to facilitate more cooperation. Approximately 15 percent of GW participates in Greek-letter life – that’s too big a constituency to leave incommunicado.
Third, the Mount Vernon campus needs to be fully integrated into GW’s Foggy Bottom campus. GW students live at MVC. They are equal members of GW and we hope to create programs to ensure those students are treated like any GW student.
Fourth, the class of 2002 is the most diverse class in the history of GW. Our class is composed of a multicultural, multi-talented group of students. As freshman senators, it is our job and our goal to make sure each of those students is represented.
Some students question the power of the SA Senate to actually change policy. The power lies in the will of each senator. When a senator writes a resolution and it passes the full Senate, two things can happen. One, the resolution can be put in a drawer and everyone can give himself or herself a pat on the back. Or two, the senator can do his/her job and take the legislation to the faculty and the administration. As the new freshman senators, that is what we will do.
Haber asked, “Where is the Senate?” We are right here, working hard and doing our job. The Senate has a dedicated executive vice president, intelligent senators and specific goals to help make the SA representative of the GW community.
As the two new kids on the block, we already can see the importance of the Senate and the SA. We might be freshmen, but by no means are we going to let our chance to represent our class in the Senate go to waste.
-The writers are non-voting freshman Student Association senators.